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  • Writer's pictureKevin Poindexter II

Wifi 6 and 6E Explained

Say hello to the new golden standard in wireless communications.

Chances are that if you're reading this article your wireless device is using one of three internet mediums. Those choices are your device being connected to the net through an over-the-air data signal, like that on a cell phone. It could be a laptop that's hardwired to an internet router, or you could be using either device that's on a wifi connection. Wifi is a technology that's bee around since the late 90s. It's a radio wave that connects one device to another and through this said frequency data is capable of being transferred back and forth. Since it's release to the public in 1997 we've seen several versions of wifi. We've seen over 6 in past 25 years and today I'm going to talk to you about the most impressive and newest additions called Wifi 6 and Wifi 6E.

More commonly there are two versions of wifi currently in use now. We've got a radio band that works on a 2.4Ghz frequency and the other a 5Ghz band. The former of the two is the "basic" signal. It has the ability to stretch a good distance from your router but the low frequency is weak to interference and the speeds, or bandwidth, used to browse the internet are ok, but they're limited. When we go up one notch we get to the 5Ghz band. This is the band that allows gamers, streamers, and content creators (cough cough) to fly through their tasks. We see speeds more than double that of the 2.4Ghz band, and a higher resistance to its little brother's inference problem. does come with it's own Achilles heel and that's the fact that this signal doesn't extend as far as the 2.4Ghz band. This was a problem and I say was as now there's a solution.

Wifi 6 and 6E promises to be better than both it's 2.4 and 5 predecessors were and the numbers are, to say the least phenomenal. These new standards use the 6Ghz band. A band that not only goes farther than both 2.4 and 5 band frequencies but it too has the bandwidth to support speeds never before seen on a wireless connection. Think of it as having a two lane highway in a major city suddenly get five more lanes added to it. The new 6 and 6E standards also have far less latency than older wifi standards meaning that bandwidth transfers faster.

Now all of this sounds great and it is. If you're a gamer you now get the same low response time on wifi you see as being hardwired to your router. If not better. If you're a content creator you can now upload 4K videos in a fraction of the time it took before. Multiple devices can stream in 4K and even having a single device stream 8K content is a breeze given what Wifi 6 and 6E are capable of. The benefits of this extend past gamers and streamers as those working from home get to have conference meetings and be increase their online productivity. Because who doesn't want to be the top dog in their Zoom meeting, right? Jokes aside I'm excited to see what doors this new standard opens.

So now the question is where and how can you get this new tech? This all depends on your internet service provider. Although Wifi 6 and 6E have been around since 2019 the standards haven't grown in popularity until late 2021. Comcast and Spectrum both offer routers supporting Wifi 6 as of me writing this post. If you have neither of them it's best to ask your provider given how new this technology still is. Once you've found a provider that offers a compatible router you need now a wireless device like a cell phone, tablet, or laptop that supports Wifi 6 and 6E standards. To name a few here's some phones that work on the new band:

- all iPhone 11, 12, and 13 models

- all Samsung Galaxy S21 and S22 (including the new S22 Ultra that I wrote about, read that article here)

- Huawei P40 Pro

- all Xiaomi 11 models

- OnePlus 10 Pro

- Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

- Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

And laptops that support Wifi 6 and 6E standards include:

- M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max MacBook/MacBook Pro

- Dell XPS 13 (2020 model)

- Microsoft Surface Laptop Go

- ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo UX581

There are much more phones and laptops that support the new standards than I can put in this post. If you're searching for a compatible device you'd want to check it's ability to use the geek name for this standard called Wifi 802.11ax.

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