Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi 6e, 6 GHz – What does it all mean?
Understanding the differences between Wi-Fi frequencies is not a high priority for most people. But you might be curious as you sit down at your computer or in front of your TV to stream your favorite movie – and you notice things just aren’t working as they should. The internet pages may be loading slow, or your movie is constantly buffering. Well, accessing the internet – and the speed at which you can access internet pages or stream a movie – can be inhibited by your Wi-Fi signal strength.
Let’s start by defining Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi is a wireless access point for your devices to connect to the internet via a radio signal. To use Wi-Fi, you must have a Wi-Fi router and allow the router to “see” the devices you want to access the internet. Often the Wi-Fi you use is a part of your own private home network, although you may encounter Wi-Fi access almost anywhere, such as hotels, airports and coffee shops.
Now the frequencies. We mentioned “radio signal” above. Well, a radio signal travels within a certain frequency. (Frequency is the number of electromagnetic waves in one second.) There are a few standard radio frequencies – 2.4, 5 and 6 GHz. And certain Wi-Fi systems use certain frequencies; let’s break it down:
- Wi-Fi 6: Wi-Fi 6 can use the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies and support better throughput (up to 9.6 Gbps across multiple channels) than the previous Wi-Fi 5. (Throughput is defined by how much data is transmitted.) Speeds can be faster when compared to Wi-Fi 5 as well, but Wi-Fi 6 is not the fastest.
- Wi-Fi 6e: The “e” in Wi-Fi 6e means “extension/extended” and operates in the 6 GHz band. The “e” creates a “fast lane” for compatible devices and applications – which means faster wireless speeds and less lag. Wi-Fi 6e offers more than two times the Wi-Fi bandwidth as the 5 GHz band. And since devices must be “Wi-Fi 6e” capable to use this new frequency, this means no slow, legacy devices will be competing for bandwidth on the 6 Ghz band. (To know if your device is “Wi-Fi 6e” compatible, just check its box, label or product specs. Or, check out a site like this or this.)
In conclusion, Wi-Fi 6 can use the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies, but the Wi-Fi 6e can use the 6 GHz frequency. Both Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6e are dramatic improvements over the previous generation, Wi-Fi 5. Between faster speeds, better traffic prioritization (read: no bandwidth hogs and less buffering) and added security, Wi-Fi 6 is the best in today’s wireless technology.
Bloomer Broadband’s managed Wi-Fi solution is Wi-Fi 6 capable and includes a host of benefits. Check out all the details in this blog post.
Interested in leasing our managed Wi-Fi solution? Give us a call at 715-568-4830 or stop by our office.