Wi-Fi 6 is the new designation for Wi-Fi 802.11ax. It was changed to clear some of the confusion that seemingly random numbers and letters bring. You probably don’t need a new Wi-Fi 6 router unless you have a Galaxy S10, which is the first phone to support the new standard.
How is Wi-Fi 6 better than 5?
Samsung Galaxy S10 have a new spec on its specs sheet with the name of WiFi 6 which you probably know as 802.11ax so don’t get confused with this new name. The Wi-Fi Alliance has decided to stop using seemingly random letter designations for Wi-Fi versions and switch to regular cardinal numbers. They think this makes it easy for us to know which is newer. They’re probably right. Samsung Galaxy S10 is the first device to use Wi-Fi 6. But what exactly makes Wi-Fi 6 better than 5? Is it that enough to want a new router?
- Better battery life
- Faster data speeds
- Better performance on busy networks
Do I need a new router?
If you want to use WiFi 6 then you need a new router. Should I buy one right now? No probably not even if you have Samsung Galaxy S10 you don’t really need to buy new router right now. It is because you’re not likely to have enough devices on your home Wi-Fi to see any real difference. Most of the things we use Wi-Fi on our phones to do depend on internet speeds and those are the bottleneck. Even a relatively slow Wi-Fi network will be faster than your download and upload speeds between you and your internet provider.
Intel trumpets that Wi-Fi 6 will improve each user’s average speed by “at least four times” in congested areas with a lot of connected devices.
Next router needs to be Wi-Fi 6 ready.
That only applies if you aren’t looking for a router right now. If you want to buy a new router and you need to make sure it supports Wi-Fi 6 because your Wi-Fi router is your Wireless AP. A router is something you only need to replace once every few years and runs every day without any fiddling around. So that I recommend you the Nighthawk AX8 from Netgear. You can buy it in $400 and uber-power-users may scoff at consumer grade routers, but it will chug along without you messing with it day in and day out. It also has super-fast wireless and it looks like a cool UFO.
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