We may come across with the wireless protocol such as IEEE 802.11n or IEEE 802.11ac, previously in the era of the internet, that was requiring a higher bandwidth to offer us smooth internet experience and running on fibre connection, hence, the requirement of newer generation router with newer wireless generation demand went high. Hence, most of the wireless router manufacture highlight the wireless standard on the packaging such as “ASUS RT-AC86U – Dual Band 802.11ac wireless router“. However, not every individual might understand the protocols, hence, Wi-Fi Alliance had purposed a new naming scheme of the wireless protocols from alphanumeric soup to a general scheme. As an example:
- IEEE 802.11n – Wi-Fi 4 (Less available)
- IEEE 802.11ac – Wi-Fi 5 (Currently available)
- IEEE 802.11ax – Wi-Fi 6 (Newly available)
However, not to be forgotten, the legendary wireless standard that, went unnoticed currently.
- IEEE 802.11a – Wi-Fi 1
- IEEE 802.11b – Wi-Fi 2
- IEEE 802.11g – Wi-Fi 3
As a newer wireless generation was introduced, the previous generation will reach its EOL phase, either went unnoticed or went ‘extinct’.
Now, let us recall the generation of previous Wireless Standards:
|Feature||Wi-Fi 4||Wi-Fi 5||Wi-Fi 6|
|Channel Bandwidth (MHz)||20||20, 40, 80, 80 + 80 & 160||20, 40, 80, 80 + 80 & 160|
|Wireless Bands (GHz)||2.4 (Single Band)||2.4 & 5 (Dual Band & Tri-Band)||2.4 & 5 (Dual Band & Tri-Band)|
|Max Transmission Rate||150 Mbps||3500 Mbps (3.5 Gbps)||10000 Mbps (10 Gbps)|
|Wireless Standard||IEEE 802.11n||IEEE 802.11ac||IEEE 802.11ax|
For more information, kindly refer here.
Recently, we’ve reviewed the first Wi-Fi 6 router from ASUS and, we have mentioned that, currently, there are not any Wi-Fi 6 enabled client in the market, yet, to fully test the wireless performance.
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Each newer wireless generation introduced were meant to improve the wireless speed and offers faster data transmission speed. With improved wireless security introduced, WPA3, the Wi-Fi 6 truly an amazing upgrade over its predecessor, Wi-Fi 5. Although previously introduced wireless standard, the infamous 802.11ad capable of transmitting higher data compared to 802.11ac over the 60GHz, however, the downside of the 60 GHz had a lower range compared to 5 GHz (the wider the band, the shorter it gets). Hence, to overcome such problem, newer wireless standards were introduced back on the year of 2018, few wireless router manufacturers starts to innovate their very own first lineup of Wi-Fi 6 capable router although there are very few Wi-Fi 6 enabled client in the market currently.
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Advantages of Wi-Fi 6
According to Wi-Fi Alliance, the Wi-Fi 6 provides higher throughput of data transmission compared to the Wi-Fi 5, up to 10 Gbps. However, when it comes to real world speed, the actual data rate might be varying from the advertised speed. Despite of varying with the real-world speed, its purpose is to improve the wireless stability in a congested area such as restraunts, hotels, hospitals and government agencies more effective compared to the Wi-Fi 5.
In addition, Wi-Fi 6 is proven to handle larger number of connected devices at the same time, thanks to its MU-MIMO (multi-user multi-input multi-output) and OFDMA (orthogonal frequency division multiple access). In general, MU-MIMO is proven to be more efficient compared to SU-MIMO, in other word, all the connected device gets equal amount of bandwidth allocated compared to the SU-MIMO which priorities the device that uses the most bandwidth. Moreover, the OFDMA lowers the latency and allows each connected device in a particular channel, efficiently, and to sum up, the Wi-Fi 6 can provide a better battery life towards the connected smart home devices – Target Wake Time (TWT) to your IoT devices in your home.
Disadvantages of Wi-Fi 6
When there is positive, there will be a negative as well. However, do mind that, the Wi-Fi 6 doesn’t really that bad. It is just, the availability of the Wi-Fi 6 client enabled device are very limited, as per current day. Next, the Wi-Fi 6 client enabled device may take time to penetrate the market, and, when it does, the price of the client device will be slightly higher compared to Wi-Fi 5 client devices.
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However, it is totally worth for future-proofing your home network with a blazing Wi-Fi speed. Concerning on the wireless bandwidth needing, ASUS had launched their own AX enabled Mesh Wi-Fi system, the RT-AX92U (2 Pack) Mesh Wi-Fi router in the market. This is a good news for those, who wish to future proof their homes with the blazing fast data transmission between your client device and the router, and of course, this will be a huge bonus if, there will be newer Wi-Fi 6 client device starts to penetrate the market.
It is really amazing how the internet usage had changed after 10 years, in terms of the technology used to cope up with the current data transmission rate. As the internet demands keep increasing, so does the requirement of providing a better wireless router with latest wireless standard is a MUST for the end user. As to recall from this article, few wireless router manufacturers such as ASUS, TP-LINK, D-LINK and Netgears are starting to release their Wi-Fi 6 routers. However, do mind that, the Wi-Fi 6 technologies aren’t finalized yet, as, it is still undergoing further testing before can be fully approved to be available in the market for consumers, sometime in the year of 2019.