What is Wi-Fi 6? Wi-Fi 6 speed, routers, and devices

Welcome to this overview of Wi-Fi 6, the latest and most advanced wireless standard for internet connectivity. WiFi 6 is the next generation of Wi-Fi and a successor wireless protocol to Wi-Fi 5 and thus is important to understand.

In this article, we will delve into the fundamental features and improvements brought by WiFi 6, discussing its enhanced data transfer rates, increased capacity, improved performance in crowded environments, and the utilization of cutting-edge technologies like Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) and Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output (MU-MIMO).

Additionally, we’ll explore its benefits for both everyday users and enterprises, including faster speeds, reduced latency, and superior support for emerging technologies, such as Internet of Things (IoT) devices and augmented reality (AR) applications.

Join us as we unravel the remarkable capabilities of WiFi 6, setting new standards for wireless connectivity in the digital era.

What is Wi-Fi 6?

Wi-Fi 6 (IEEE 802.11ax), the successor to Wi-Fi 5, enhances online experiences by accelerating connections and enabling smoother connectivity for multiple devices on the same network. As the latest iteration of the Wi-Fi protocol, it offers significant advancements over its predecessor (Wi-Fi 5), achieving higher data transfer speeds through improved data encoding and intelligent spectrum utilization with more powerful processors.

With the potential to reduce latency by up to 75%, Wi-Fi 6 brings faster, more reliable, and seamless wireless connectivity to modern digital environments. These new standards were approved in 2019.

Before that Wi-Fi 6 standards, we had 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) Wi-Fi technology standards. Wi-Fi 6 comes with improved Wi-Fi performances with speeds of up to 12Gbps. These speeds mean that you can download your favorite movie in just a few seconds or minutes depending on the size of the movie.

Besides, the Wi-Fi 6 speeds can enable you to stream your favorite 4K movie while your colleague is enjoying their gaming without any lags at all.

Wi-Fi standards comparison table

The table below explains the Wi-Fi standards, the years approved and their features.

Wi-Fi standardThe year it was approvedFrequenciesMaximum data rate
802.11ax (W-Fi 6)20195GHz and 2.4GHz9.6Gbps
802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5)20145GHz and 2.4GHz3.5Gbps
802.11n (Wi-Fi 4)20095GHz and 2.4GHz600Mbps
802.111997Now defunct 

Most of the devices in the market today are made with Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) specifications. Therefore, the design and manufacture of newer devices are with Wi-Fi 6 specifications. All these devices are however backward compatible. This means that they are compatible with the current standard and any other previous standards.

For most American homes, the strength of Wi-Fi 6 is that the Wi-Fi 6 speed can be shared among several devices. Most American homes have at least 9 devices thus Wi-Fi 6 will provide the best connections ever.

How to get Wi-Fi 6

There are two major components when you want to access Wi-Fi 6. The two components are:

Wi-Fi 6 Router: There are several Wi-Fi 6 routers available in the market today. They are the future of Wi-Fi routers. In our reviews, we found great ones among Netgear routers, Asus routers, TP-Link routers, Linksys routers among other brands.

Most of the Wi-Fi 6 routers have a powerful CPU, antennas, and the latest technology to support the Wi-Fi 6 performance. They also increase efficiency and boost data transfer rates as compared to Wi-Fi 5 and other previous standards.

Wi-Fi 6 Compatible devices: To access the Wi-Fi 6 performances as generated by your router, you require Wi-Fi 6 devices. These devices have hardware and technological update to support the Wi-FI 6 speed. Some of these devices include laptops, computers, smartphones, tablets, among other devices.

What are the Wi-Fi 6 benefits?

The following are the benefits of Wi-Fi 6 vs Wi-Fi 5 and other previous versions.

Wi-Fi 6 speed

Under ideal conditions, Wi-Fi 6 can achieve theoretical maximum speeds of up to 9.6 Gbps. This represents a significant improvement over the previous Wi-Fi standards, with Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) offering a theoretical maximum of 3.5 Gbps, and Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n) reaching up to 600 Mbps.

The key to these higher speeds in Wi-Fi 6 lies in its ability to support more streams, with the number of streams being increased to 12. This enhancement allows for gigabit Wi-Fi speeds, enabling faster and more efficient data transfer, particularly when multiple devices are connected simultaneously.

However, it’s essential to note that real-world speeds will likely be lower than these theoretical maxima due to factors such as signal interference, distance from the router, and device capabilities.

To ensure that the routers can support these speeds, the manufacturers add advanced technologies like MU-MIMO (Multiple-user, Multiple-input, Multiple-output) which ensures all devices get the blazing speeds.

Reduced latency

Wi-Fi 6 does reduce latency significantly, offering up to 75% lower latency compared to older Wi-Fi standards. This improvement is achieved by handling network traffic more efficiently, which prevents overwhelming the system in congested scenarios.

By incorporating technologies like Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) at the Physical layer and other enhancements at the Medium Access Control (MAC) layer, Wi-Fi 6 enhances the efficiency of data transmission, leading to reduced and more predictable latency.

As a result, wireless connections can approach the speed and stability of Ethernet connections, giving users the flexibility to move around their homes without sacrificing performance. This is especially important for internet intense activities like gaming or 4K streaming. OFDMA helps to ensure the packing of data to signals for transmission is done faster.

Connecting more devices with a better internet connection

These days, there has been an increase in the number of devices in our homes. This means that you need a better Wi-Fi connection to ensure all the devices function optimally. Wi-Fi 6 is designed to handle multiple devices more effectively, providing a better internet connection and improved user experience.

With faster speeds and larger data transfers, Wi-Fi 6 enables more devices to connect to the network simultaneously without experiencing service interruptions. The increased bandwidth and improved communication capabilities allow routers to efficiently send data to multiple devices in a single broadcast, reducing congestion and improving overall network performance.

Additionally, Wi-Fi 6 utilizes technologies like OFDMA to prioritize and allocate traffic across devices more efficiently, ensuring smoother communication when multiple devices require data simultaneously. This enhanced efficiency and ability to communicate with more users and devices at once make Wi-Fi 6 routers more capable of handling the demands of modern connected environments.

Reduced battery use for your Wi-Fi-connected devices

Wi-Fi 6 incorporates a feature called Target Wake Time (TWT), which significantly reduces power consumption for Wi-Fi connected devices. With TWT, routers can schedule specific check-in times with devices, allowing them to minimize the frequency of data transmissions and receptions.

As a result, devices can enter low-power sleep modes for more extended periods, conserving battery life and prolonging the usage time between charges. By optimizing the timing of data exchanges between routers and devices, Wi-Fi 6 enhances energy efficiency, making it especially beneficial for battery-powered devices like smartphones, laptops, tablets, and IoT devices.

This improvement in battery use is one of the significant advantages of Wi-Fi 6 over previous Wi-Fi standards.

We have all seen how the use of mobile data consumes the phone’s battery very fast. Moreover, the same happens for all devices when there is a poor internet connection since the device takes a lot of time to transmit data. With Wi-Fi speeds, you are assured of longer battery life since data transmission is crisp.

Improved internet connection security

Wi-Fi 6 improves internet connection security significantly through its support for the WPA3 security standard. Compared to Wi-Fi 5, WPA3 offers enhanced protection against cyber attacks, making it more resistant to brute-force attacks and ensuring that network traffic remains encrypted even when multiple devices are connected to the same network.

With new encryption technologies like Simultaneous Authentication of Equals (SAE), Wi-Fi 6 provides stronger safeguards for personal networks, ensuring more secure encryption of passwords and enhancing overall cybersecurity.

This upgraded security protocol is a crucial step in safeguarding sensitive data and protecting users from potential threats in modern wireless environments.

Each wireless standard comes with its own security protocols. Wi-Fi 6 comes with a new advanced security protocol, WPA3 which makes it almost impossible for hackers to guess your login information.

Who made Wi-Fi 6?

The Internet standards are developed by the largest association of technical professionals which is called the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Therefore, we know the IEEE as the keeper of Wi-Fi. For any device to certify that it meets a certain Wi-Fi standard, it has to undergo inspection by the IEEE.

The IEEE in addition to developing the Wi-Fi standards they also ensures the industry meets those standards. This is very important to ensure all the devices produces are meeting the indicated standards.

Wi-Fi 6 Devices

There are several devices that have been produced that meet the Wi-Fi 6 standards. We will categorize the devices into routers and compatible devices. It is quite clear that most households have several devices that require Wi-Fi 6 performances.


There are several routers that are available in the market today that are Wi-Fi 6 certified. Most of the router brands have had a race against time to ensure they give the market a device worth the title ‘best Wi-Fi 6 device’.

Some of the best routers in the market today are Wi-Fi 6 certified. As described in the benefits above, Wi-Fi 6 routers give the best range, connect several devices, and are from multiple brands. There are several Mesh devices that are Wi-Fi 6 certified too.

Of note, however, these routers come at a premium. However, for the features and the futuristic nature of these routers, it is a small price to pay.

Wi-Fi 6 Compatible devices

There are several latest devices that are Wi-Fi 6 compatible. Thus, there are several high-end phones, laptops, and other devices that are Wi-Fi 6 compatible.

The flagship smartphones have not been left behind. These devices include Samsung Galaxy Note 10, Samsung Galaxy S20, iPhone 11, Huawei P40 Pro, and LG V60 ThinQ. Other devices include:

  • iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE
  • Motorola Edge Plus
  • OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro
  • Samsung Galaxy S10 and S10E
  • Samsung Galaxy Fold

There are several laptops that are also Wi-Fi 6 compatible. These devices have Wi-Fi 6 as their default option. They include:

  • Asus Chromebook Flip c436
  • Dell XPS 13 (2020)
  • HP Spectre x360
  • Lenovo Yoga c940
  • LG Gram 17

In scouring the other devices, we did not meet many other compatible devices.


As we have seen, Wi-Fi 6 will change the way the world uses internet connections. The new standard that was approved in 2019 enables faster internet speeds, improved security, better range, and connection of several devices. You will love the security enhancements, faster speeds, better range, lower latency, increased power, and less network congestion provided by Wi-Fi 6.

There are very few devices that can benefit from Wi-Fi 6 technologies. However, we expect several devices to be compatible and several companies and homes to adopt Wi-Fi 6 technologies.

Therefore, we recommend that for faster connections in the future, explore getting a Wi-Fi 6 router.