We install WiFi & networking into properties every day to enable new products to work well. Many people hear the term “wireless technology” but it’s not strictly true. The device can be wireless but often the wired infrastructure has to be decent for it to work well.
You may have seen the term “WiFi 6” and wondered what it means. Is it better to upgrade your existing system? Is the increased cost justified? Will it matter if you keep what you’ve got? Hopefully this will explain it in a bit more detail.
WiFi 5 (802.11ac) and WiFi 6 (802.11ax) are two different wireless standards for wireless networking. WiFi 6 is the latest wireless standard that offers faster speeds, better performance, and improved security over WiFi 5. Here are some of the main differences between the two:
- Speed: WiFi 6 offers faster maximum speeds than WiFi 5. WiFi 6 can achieve speeds of up to 9.6 Gbps, while WiFi 5 can reach a maximum speed of 3.5 Gbps. Obviously an upgrade will increase your speeds a bit. If you’re just doing the usual stuff like surfing the net, then it’s unlikely you’d notice the difference. However if you’re gaming or streaming a lot of movies, it could improve your situation with this.
- Capacity: WiFi 6 can handle more devices at once than WiFi 5. WiFi 6 uses a new technology called MU-MIMO (Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output), which allows multiple devices to connect to the network at the same time without slowing down the network. If you have a lot of devices connected to your network, upgrading to WiFi 6 can help you avoid network congestion. This will ensure that all your devices are getting the bandwidth they need. For the future, this will become more relevant as more and more devices sit on your WiFi.
- Range: WiFi 6 has better range and coverage than WiFi 5, thanks to the use of new technologies like OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access) and BSS Coloring. If you have a large home or office, upgrading to WiFi 6 can help you extend the range and coverage of your wireless network.
- Battery Life: WiFi 6 devices are designed to use less power than WiFi 5 devices, which means they can help extend the battery life of your devices.
- Security: WiFi 6 uses WPA3 encryption, which is more secure than the WPA2 encryption used by WiFi 5.
So will it make a difference to your home network?
Again it depends on what you’ve got sitting on your WiFi. Good quality access points should give you good coverage throughout. But as you increase the number of devices sitting on it, then you could find the “buffering wheel” bounce up a bit more.
We’d suggest if you’re putting in a new system, then consider putting in WiFi 6 access points from the start. That way you’re closer to future proofing your system. In the next few years, more and more gadgets and appliances will be sitting on your WiFi so it makes sense to ensure that the capacity will be there now.
If however you’ve got a good quality system in now with WiFi 5, and you’re not having any problems, it should be fine for the next while. If you’ve already got good cabling in, then it can be upgraded quite easily if you start to get problems down the line.
What about commercial systems?
If you’ve got a commercial property with a lot of users then it may be structured differently. Bars/cafes/offices are an example of this. Definitely consider upgrading or going for the best system you can afford. Probably you’ll have lots of devices sitting on the network and you want to be able to have enough capacity. There are also an enhanced security questions with this type of installation. You may also want to create different WiFi zones. The last thing you want is your customers having a good moan about the WiFi. Get in touch for a survey and we can advise on the best equipment here.
If you’re unsure whether to upgrade or you’re thinking of getting a new WiFi system installed, get in touch. We can come out and do a site survey and give you some great advice.
Phone us on 0131 285 5557 or email in at email@example.com.