The Wi-Fi Alliance has officially announced the launch of the Wi-Fi 6 standard (aka IEEE 802.11ax), which will replace the now obsolete IEEE 802.11ac.
Wi-Fi 6 offers a multiple increase in data transfer speed – from 3.5 to 9.6 Gb / s. It is almost unattainable in real life, so in fact files will download much slower. Nevertheless, even one percent of this speed is quite enough. Much more important is how routers that support this standard interact with connected devices. Several dozens of devices can be connected to such a router at the same time without degrading the connection: even if some kind of gadget creates an intense load on the network, the speed on other devices will not slow down.
Wi-Fi 6 routers support MU-MIMO, OFDMA and Target Wake Time technologies. The first technology is not new, it was already in Wi-Fi 5 (or IEEE 802.11ac), but it has undergone significant improvement. MU-MIMO means multi-user, multiple input, multiple output (multiple users, multiple inputs, multiple outputs) and allows the router to send traffic packets to multiple devices simultaneously. In Wi-Fi 5 – a maximum of four devices, and in Wi-Fi 6 – up to eight. This separation of signal streams significantly increases the stability of the Internet connection.
OFDMA technology is completely new, this invention of engineering allows you to transfer data in one stream to several devices at once: part of the package is given to one gadget, and the rest to another. Using OFDMA allows the router to emit a signal more efficiently – faster and with less energy.
Using Target Wake Time, the device can synchronize the planned communication time with the router. This leads to energy savings: the router wakes up the Wi-Fi module in the connected device and transfers data to it. On computers and laptops, the savings are not very noticeable, but on smartphones, smart watches and other miniature gadgets, this option will be very useful.
Wi-Fi 6 uses the new WPA3 security protocol, and, unlike earlier Wi-Fi standards, it is not optional, but mandatory. This protocol provides more reliable data protection from interception and decryption.
Soon, routers that support Wi-Fi 6 will be available for sale. The first smartphone that supports this standard is Samsung Galaxy Note10. In addition, iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max are compatible with it.