What is Wi-Fi 6? A Quick Introduction

What is Wi-Fi 6?

Wi-Fi 6 is the newest technology standard for local-area networks. If you see that a device, gateway, or router has the Wi-Fi 6 logo, that means it’s been certified as meeting the IEEE 802.11ax standard. Now, what exactly does that mean?

Many of the organizations involved in local area technology work together through an international non-profit network called the Wi-Fi Alliance. While an organization called the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) creates the technology standard behind each new version of Wi-Fi, the Wi-Fi Alliance is the group responsible for testing and certifying new products. For any new product to be certified, it needs to be tested to ensure it meets a specific set of requirements.

IEEE 802.11ax (the standard behind Wi-Fi 6) is the newest and most advanced Wi-Fi technology standard so far.

How is Wi-Fi 6 better?

Wi-Fi 6 was designed to improve on previous standards in several ways, including all of the following:

  • More efficient battery usage
  • Higher maximum bandwidth
  • Improved security features
  • Extremely low latency

Where you’ll really start to see the full benefits of these improvements, though, is in households and businesses with several connected devices running at a time.

Wi-Fi 6 excels at delivering home internet for modern households, where it is common for people to have several connected devices, such as gaming systems, laptops, phones, and smart home appliances.

Watch this video from AT&T Business if you want a more technical explanation of some of the benefits.

Is Wi-Fi 6 compatible with all devices?

The short answer to this question is no. Many devices don’t have the ability to connect to a Wi-Fi network of any kind. What many people probably want to know when they ask this question, though, is whether Wi-Fi 6 is backwards compatible. The answer here is mostly yes. Wi-Fi 6 will connect seamlessly with most Wi-Fi certified devices, even if they were built for an older version of the standard. That said, you won’t be able to enjoy optimal performance unless you’re using a device that supports Wi-Fi 6.

Try this technology for yourself with AT&T

Hopefully, this post helped give you some idea of what this technology is and why you might want it in your home. If you’re interested in trying it for yourself, check to see which AT&T Internet plans are available where you live. In some cases, AT&T Internet plans will now include a Wi-Fi Gateway that uses Wi-Fi 6 technology for $10 per month.


This article was written by Matt Johnsen, a TechBuzz contributor. The statements in this article are his own and don’t necessarily represent the positions, strategies, or opinions of AT&T.

 

 

 

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