When the epidemic destroyed our lives, many of us had to stay home, transferring our work and hobbies to the Internet. Office meetings և classrooms were replaced by video calls. We started with Netflix, played more video games, and shopped online.
The result. We strongly criticize our home Wi-Fi networks with more devices doing more than ever! Our congested internet connections, which facilitated spotty video calls and slow downloads, became the number one technology headache.
Now a new generation of Wi-Fi, known as Wi-Fi 6, has arrived to solve this problem. It brings faster speeds and wider coverage. Most importantly, wireless technology does a better job of connecting data more efficiently to a larger number of home devices, such as phones, tablets, computers, smartphones, and televisions.
With Wi-Fi 6, when a device consumes a lot of data, such as downloading a huge game to a video game console, it will not slow down the entire network, as was the case with previous Wi-Fi technology.
Wi-Fi 6 debuted in 2018, but the mainstream reached its peak only this year when it became more affordable, with devices priced at $ 70 more widely available on new Internet routers. Many newer smartphones and PCs now include chips that help them access Wi-Fi 6.
So how does it work? Imagine for a second you were transposed into the karmic driven world of Earl. In the old Wi-Fi networks, machines that represented data transmitters operated in a single lane. A device that loads data is like a disgusting slow motion that forces everyone behind to brake.
Wi-Fi 6 reduces congestion by directing traffic. Now there are many zones. Car pool trips for newer, faster devices; slower lanes for older, slower ones. All vehicles are also full of people representing large batches of data being transported over the network at the same time.
“Wi-Fi 6 can be much more effective in getting a lot more cars off the road faster,” said David Henry, senior vice president at Netgear.
I recently tested two new Wi-Fi 6 routers and compared them to the previous generation Wi-Fi router, which led to some confusing results, including some even more amazing improvements. Here is what I learned.
I typically work with more than two dozen Internet-connected devices, including smart speakers, a thermostat, and a bathroom scale. That seems to make my home an ideal testing environment for Wi-Fi 6.
My favorite Wi-Fi 6 routers were Amazon’s Eero Pro 6, which costs about $ 230, and Netgear’s Orbi, which costs $ 380. I compared them to the Google Wifi router, which was about $ 130 when it was released in 2016.
One of the tests involved downloading an episode of Netflix’s “Final Chart” series on two tablets և while the video was streaming on the other tablet.
Wi-Fi 6 routers were better than the old router, but only marginally.
It took Eero և Netgear routers about 45 seconds to complete the download of the TV series on all three devices. On the older Google router, the task took 51 seconds, 13 percent slower.
When other devices downloaded files while trying high-definition video on a tablet, there was no noticeable delay in playing streaming video on Wi-Fi 6 routers or the old router.
I ran the routers through many of the above tests, including downloading video calls and making video calls. The results were often overwhelming. So what does it give?
Nick Weaver, chief executive of Eero, a maker of routers owned by Amazon, says the reduction in congestion with Wi-Fi 6 will be more visible in an environment with many more devices, such as an office where hundreds of computers are having trouble. at the same time!
“It is less important at home,” he said. Most homes do not have as many appliances yet.
Keerti Melkote, founder of Aruba Hewlett Packard Enterprise, a company that offers Wi-Fi products for business, offered another theory. He said most of my home appliances should have chips that make them compatible with Wi-Fi 6. Only a quarter of my devices connected to the Internet have them.
They were not the result of a jaw drop. But the good news is that using Wi-Fi 6, I noticed subtle changes throughout the house.
For one, my Amazon smart speakers are now more responsive. In my bedroom, I ask Alexa to control a pair of internet-connected light bulbs. On an older router, when I said, “Alexa, turn on the lights,” there was a two-second delay in turning on the lights. It’s less than half a second now.
I noticed something like this with MyQ, which allows me to use the smartphone app to control my garage door. After pressing the button before, I waited a few seconds for the door to open. Now the wait is a fraction of a second.
My video calls also seem simpler than before, they take less time to connect.
This suggests that Wi-Fi 6 is a long-term investment. The more Internet-enabled devices enter people’s homes in the coming years, the more visible the bonuses will be.
“It will take time, but the improvements will be real,” Mr Melkote said.
Of the two Wi-Fi 6 routers I tested, I preferred the Eero Pro 6. It’s $ 150 cheaper than the Netgear Orbi, Both routers were equally fast in my tests. Eero installation was also simpler.
But who should buy?
My experience has shown that people who have purchased a router in the last five years are unlikely to see significant improvements right away, so there is no rush to upgrade.
Those customers are probably better off waiting for Wi-Fi 6E, a newly discovered technology that is likely to offer even more improvements to reduce network congestion in dense neighborhoods. Routers running Wi-Fi 6E are just getting started – they are very expensive, so it may take several years before it becomes practical to consider upgrading.
But if you bought a router more than six years ago, upgrading to Wi-Fi 6 would offer a big boost, and the overall benefits would be more noticeable. This is mainly because in 2015 the Federal Communications Commission lifted restrictions that limited the wireless transmission power of Wi-Fi routers, allowing new ones to be 20 times more powerful.
Here is an even simpler rule. If you are happy with your internet connection at home, keep what you have ացրեք update it when you feel compelled to do so. Even Mr. Melkote did not go for Wi-Fi 6. He said he was planning this year because his family was working and attending school from home in the foreseeable future.
As for me, although the improvements to my old router were only minor, there is no going back. I seem to connect half a dozen new devices to my network every year, so I will need those extra features.