The capabilities of wireless technology are constantly evolving. WiFi 6 has been out for almost two years now, but has only recently become more affordable. It promises to have huge benefits for businesses both today and in the future.
In this blog, we will cover the following:
- What is WiFi 6? – WiFi 6 explained
- Is WiFi 6 faster?
- Can all devices connect to WiFi 6?
- Improved connection density with WiFi 6.
- Is WiFi 6 more secure?
- WiFi 6 installation for businesses.
What is WiFi 6?
WiFi 6 is the latest iteration of WiFi technology, bringing with it a host of improvements.
We explored the technical specifications of WiFi 6 in a previous blog post, but we wanted to explain how WiFi 6 will benefit your organisation today – and more importantly, how will it futureproof you against the challenges of tomorrow.
Is WiFi 6 faster than WiFi 5? Yes! But also no. With WiFi 6, the (theoretical) maximum speed is 9.6Gbps, up from a (theoretical) 3.5Gbps from WiFi 5. The “theoretical” in that sentence is important, because it is unlikely that a business will ever reach those speeds in practice.
However, this boost in potential speed means that there is nearly triple the bandwidth available, and therefore there is more speed, for every device on the network. With nearly 70% of UK businesses operating with a BYOD policy (and this number is certain to grow as hybrid working becomes increasingly popular), the demands on networks will only increase.
What this improved speed and bandwidth also means is that uploads and downloads will become significantly quicker. With conference calls and video chats exploding in popularity since the pandemic, the sheer amount of data being transferred regularly has increased. WiFi 6 is much better at handling this data thanks to some clever innovations.
Better Handling of Multiple Devices
We touched on it in the previous section, but it’s worth expanding on more. Compared to older technology, WiFi 6 operates better in dense environments and offers a higher performance across all devices. Any device that is has WiFi capabilities can connect to a WiFi 6 router.
It achieves this by allowing up to 30 devices share the same channel. WiFi 6 can run on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies; the former has 11 channels and the latter has 45 channels. So, there is plenty of space available for everyone’s devices. In practice, WiFi 6 can handle a higher number of devices and do so more efficiently. In modern businesses where employees may use two or three devices to work (not to mention any number of smart devices connected to the building), upgrading to WiFi 6 represents a huge boost to productivity.
Another major improvement that WiFi 6 brings is that the latest security protocol (WPA3) is required for a WiFi device to receive WiFi 6 certification from the WiFi Alliance.
WPA3 makes it near impossible for hackers to crack passwords by constantly guessing them, and it makes data less useful even if hackers do manage to obtain it.
This will be invaluable for businesses who offer remote and hybrid working options. We’ve covered the cyber security challenges facing these businesses previously, but with WiFi 6 and WPA3 going hand-in-hand, they can be assured that their data is more secure.
Improved battery life for network connected devices
Another benefit of WiFi 6 is that it can improve the battery life of devices connected to the network thanks to Target Wake Time. In essence, this enables routers to schedule check-in times and ‘wake’ devices to send and receive data when they need to, rather than having their antennas powered on transmit to search for signals all the time.
For smart buildings that have a myriad of devices (sensors, smart bulbs, etc.) connected to a network, this will be essential. By 2025, industry experts predict that there will be 25 billion connections on the Internet of Things. That’s a lot of devices that need to be charged!
How KBR can help
For many businesses, the limitations of older networks are starting to surface. WiFi 6 represents an opportunity to improve employee productivity and data security.
With more than 35 years of experience, KBR has established itself as one of the most experienced WiFi providers for the education sector. Get in touch to speak to an expert about your network requirements – call us on 0191 492 1492 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.