Wi-Fi came into the picture in late 1997 and ever since its protocol has witnessed a significant amount of change. With the world still referring it to just Wi-Fi, it is certainly one of the most intriguing cases of recognition, witnessed globally. Nevertheless, the Wi-Fi that we now have and use is all the way different than what it was just five years back. The designing and certification of Wi-Fi is wholly managed by the Wi-Fi Alliance which has never failed to rollout new features to improve the protocol retaining its recognition, no matter what. In a recent announcement, they have been harping huge on bandwidth and speed enhancement, which gives way to introduction of Wi-Fi 6 in 2019, thus changing the name altogether.
Knowing Your Versions
So, Wi-Fi 6 is certainly the next gen. standard which claims to be faster than 802.11ac. Besides speed, it also promises improved performance across crowded areas like stadiums or in a theatre. First, let us get you base ground and brush away the fuss of version numbers. Here’s a simplified chart to make life easy.
|Wi-Fi Version Earlier Known||New Name|
|802.11n||Wi-Fi 4 (2009)|
|802.11ac||Wi Fi 5 (2014)|
|802.11ax||Wi Fi 6 (2019)|
It was also announced by the Alliance that they would make arrangements for users to see the number appear in software to easily determine the newer version before connecting their devices. Reportedly, one should start seeing numbers marked in your laptops and smartphones as well.
The Tech Behind Faster Wi Fi
If there’s one thing that Wi Fi 6 promises, its gotta be speed and faster data transfer rate. For anyone using Wi Fi router for a single device, there should be at least 40 percent higher speed as compared to the earlier version. Wi Fi 6 accounts for a much smarter encoding of data which is primarily the reason for speed as data gets packed into radio waves. As such, the chips that function to encode and decode such signals keep getting powerful to handle the extra amount of work that you do. Such a structure turns out to be extremely powerful on 2.4GHz networks. Surprisingly, the shift towards 5GHz is touted towards less interference; 2.4 GHz functions better at travelling through any solid object in its route. Generally, Wi Fi tends to go slow in an overcrowded place like a stadium, where there are just too many enabled devices. With Wi-Fi 6, things are bound to take a solemn turn as it would effectively avoid congestion across all fronts.
Improved Battery Life
Wi Fi 6 comes equipped with a whole new target time which should account for enhanced battery life for your device. As the access point talks to any device, it functions to instruct when it should put the Wi Fi radio to sleep, until it receives the next set of transmission. This shall work to conserve more and more power meaning the Wi Fi radio can actually invest more time in sleep.
When Can You Expect It
ASUS is the probably the first company to have announced their router RT-AX88U which does incorporate some features of Wi Fi 6, if not entirely. According to the Wi-Fi Alliance, one should start seeing Wi fi 6 enabled devices in the market (Perhaps it will come with a logo carrying the version number) by the first quarter of 2019 and soon in abundance later.
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