WIFI 6: Everything You Need To Know About The New Wireless Standard
The internet has come a long way since the days when we had to unplug our phone lines and connect the dial-up cable to go online. We may sometimes complain about the signal quality of home WIFI networks (particularly in Israel) but the existing technology is actually pretty good. WIFI 6 is now becoming widely available and is expected to take home internet to a new level. This is good news because more and more of our household appliances and devices are becoming WIFI integrated.
This blog post will take a closer look at WIFI 6 and how it differs from the WIFI 5 that most of us are used to. We’ll also explore how WIFI 6 compares to 5G internet and how this is likely to affect the average Israeli domestic user - if at all.
What is WIFI 6?
If you’re an average internet user, you probably don’t pay a lot of attention to the technology behind your home WIFI network. You’ll understand that you have a router that sends out a signal. You also named your home network and protected it with a password. The strength of the signal varies from time to time, and you may even find that there are blind spots in your home where the signal is too weak to be much use. If there’s a real problem, you call a technician or switch to a better service provider.
Most people don’t have any deeper understanding of WIFI and how it works. As WIFI 6 rolls out and becomes the norm, it’s worth understanding the potential. It’s now certain that the next few years will see a leap in internet control of domestic appliances. This means everything from your fridge/freezer and air-con unit, to the thermostat on your boiler and home security systems. These changes will also be reflected in the workplace and WIFI 6 is likely to transform how we work.
The Key Facts
- WIFI 6 was first announced in 2018 and launched in 2019
- The official designation is WIFI 6, high-efficiency WIFI, 802.11ax
- WIFI 6 deliberately reverts to the older 2.4GHz frequency range
- The systems use superior WPA3 encryption for greater security
- The new WIFI 6 remains compatible with all previous versions of WIFI
Is WIFI 6 Faster than WIFI 5?
WIFI 6 is expected to be around 40% faster than its predecessor for the average domestic user who connects a single device. This is mainly due to more efficient data encoding that compresses more information into the same transmission. If you’re connecting a laptop or doing online gaming, you’ll notice the difference.
Will WIFI 6 Give me a Better Signal?
Yes, WIFI 6 goes back to the older 2.4GHz frequency range that was in use before WIFI 5. This ostensibly slower frequency offers far better signal strength in family homes where walls and other signal blockers offer interference. You’re far less likely to experience blind spots or reduced signal strength.
How many Devices can I Connect to WIFI 6?
There’s no definitive answer. The general rule is that a WIFI 6 router will easily cope with all the computers, cell phones, and other internet-compatible devices - and IoT utilities - in a family home. Even if you’ve got a house full of teenagers with laptops and gaming devices, there won’t be any competition for connectivity. One major advantage of WIFI 6 is that it efficiently distributes information between devices. This alone may give an immediate performance boost.
Is WIFI 6 secure for online shopping and banking?
The new system uses WPA3 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 3) to encrypt your data. That’s about as safe as it gets for the general public. WPA3 protected systems are very safe and you’ll be able to do online shopping, banking, and access your kupat holim account, without any worries about being compromised or cracked.
WIFI 6E is a variant of WIFI 6 that can connect to the 6GHz bandwidth. If you have a device that is supported for 6GHz signals, you can potentially obtain a much greater bandwidth.
The problem is that 6GHz enabled devices are still fairly rare and are expensive. Very few countries have legally opened the 6GHz spectrum to public use.
WIFI 6E is something we will see more of in years to come. There may eventually be a 6E boom for household users, but it’s not currently relevant to the average internet user.
5G vs WIFI 6: Which Technology is the Future?
We took a look at 5G and 6G internet technology in a previous blog post. 5G is currently rolling out across the Western World and Israel is rapidly adapting its infrastructure to get the most out of the new internet technology. It’s worth recapping and explaining the basics of 5G internet before we compare it to WIFI 6.
Most Israelis are still using 4G internet on their phones and mobile devices. 4G improved on the existing mobile broadband to give us mobile TV, online gaming, and video conferencing. 5G is taking things to a whole new level with much higher speeds and lower latency. What that means in real terms is the ability to download a full-length HD feature film in a single second.
5G Timescales in Israel
The government is playing catchup when it comes to cellular coverage in Israel. They want Israel to be a world leader in all aspects of high tech and telecommunications. The government also understands how important 5G network coverage is to the wider economy. It is keen to roll out the new infrastructure and get 5G fully integrated.
- 2020 - 5G smartphones are on already
- 2022 - It will be illegal to import mobile devices that only support 2G and 3G
- 2023 - New devices that don’t support 5G will be unable to connect to networks
- 2025 - Israeli 5G networks are expected to be up and running
While we don’t take anything for granted in Israel, it seems likely that 5G internet and WIFI 6 will become widely available within a comparatively short time period. Many people will be wondering which is best for them. The short answer is that you’ll probably use both and that both of them will be good initially. After a few tweaks and upgrades, 5G internet and WIFI 6 are likely to deliver a service that would (even recently) have been considered science fiction.
Is 5G Better than WIFI 6?
At this point in time, any comparisons are basically just speculation. We can make some general observations, one of which is that if your device is WIFI 6 enabled, and you’re close to a router, you’ll have an amazing internet experience. Under ideal test conditions, WIFI 6 will win on speed hands down. WIFI 6 E is likely to be the undisputed champion in the internet signal stakes.
The problem is that we don’t live and work in ideal test conditions. If you take your WIFI 6 enabled laptop into an old building with a very basic WIFI 5 network, you might get a better network connection if you switch straight to 5G.
5G itself is likely to be variable. 5G doesn’t operate on a single bandwidth, it’s easier to think of 5G as three layers of signals that all perform differently under different conditions.
Another factor that will determine the popularity of 5G against WIFI 6 is cost. It will be a challenge for cellular providers (and regulators) to keep costs down and offer customers an affordable service. The new 5G infrastructure represents a major investment that will have to be recouped. Much of the costs will be recovered indirectly through the economic growth that 5G is expected to drive, but, as always: Caveat emptor!
If you’re using WIFI 6, you’ll only pay a monthly charge for your broadband internet. It’s likely that most Israelis will have access to fiber-optic cables in the coming years and home internet will be super fast and highly reliable. Home internet costs are set to come down and standards are expected to rise. It’s one of the world’s few win/win situations for consumers. If you also have a forward-thinking supplier, who also focuses on English language customer service, you’re a winner!
5 Ways that 5G and WIFI 6 will Interact
The Internet of Things - IoT
The combination of 5G and WIFI 6 will revolutionize the IoT. Internet of things is a loose term that describes any device that connects to a larger, internet-connected device. IoT devices include sensors of all types, cameras, microphones, and RFID transmitters. These devices collect data but don’t really store or process it.
WIFI 6 and 5G both provide high throughput, low latency, and high capacity. They should also be able to manage connectivity issues with multiple devices efficiently. We’re going to see an explosion in new applications, devices, and upgrades of existing technology. This may well transform our day-to-day lives.
Comprehensive Wireless Coverage
Wherever you are in Israel there’s a good chance that you’ll have instant access to high-speed wireless internet. It will be possible to switch effortlessly between WIFI 6 and 5G at needed. Uninterrupted wireless access will transform the economy, how the IDF operates, and how we work and enjoy our leisure.
Uninterrupted wireless coverage has the potential to improve public safety and convenience, but it will also raise urgent civil liberty and privacy issues. The state, security services, and police - not to mention employers and hackers - will have unprecedented access to our lives. How we implement this technology is likely to define whether Israel continues as a free society - at least in a way that previous generations understood the concept.
Scale of use
WIFI 6 will be the system of choice for indoor locations like offices and factories, but it will be available on a massive scale. It will also extend to venues like sports stadiums, outdoor festivals, and major conferences. Creative use of WIFI 6 could really enhance the user experience at all kinds of events, particularly if it is integrated with AI, user headsets or smart goggles, and other technology.
5G will dominate outdoor internet use. Urban planners, scientists, and developers are already thinking in terms of smart cities enabled by 5G internet. The possibilities include driverless cars or connected cars, drones, traffic control, policing, optimized public transport networks, and any other technology that eases the pressures and stresses of crowded cities.
The combination of 5G and WIFI 6 will transform every sector in the economy. We’re about to see a quantum leap in efficiency (and in attainable design goals) across manufacturing, retail, energy, education, and health care. A revolution in how we manage our health could bring not only a significant increase in life expectancy but a massive increase in our quality of life!
WIFI 6 and 5G are about to become an exciting new reality. If you want to be among the first Israelis to benefit from them, you need to be with a single English language service provider who covers every telecommunications need under a single roof. Choose a bundle of phone, internet, and TV packages and get the latest technological upgrades whenever they become available.