If you’ve been shopping the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, you might have seen routers advertised that use the new Wi-Fi 6 standard. This new standard was launched in September of 2019 and it includes a brand new security protocol, WPA3.
Is it worth it to upgrade your router this year?
If you’re looking for more speed, better multi-device handling and improved security for things like cloud computing and VoIP services, then you may want to grab a deal and upgrade. Wi-Fi 6 offers multiple benefits over the previous standard that means several improvements for both home and office wireless networks.
Wi-Fi Standard History
To understand the significance of the update, let’s take a look back at some of the previous wireless standards. Here are the release dates for the last 4 versions:
Wi-Fi 3 (802.11g) – Released in 2003
Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n) – Released in 2009
Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) – Released in 2014
Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) – Released in 2019
So, it’s been about 5 years since the last protocol for wireless internet communications with devices was last launched, which is an age in tech-years. But even longer has been the wait for better Wi-Fi security. It’s been 15 years since the WPA security protocol for wireless has been updated.
Here’s the timeline of releases:
WPA – Released in 2003
WPA2 – Released in 2004
WPA3 – Released in 2019
So, Wi-Fi 6 offers a long-overdue security update along with the other benefits. We’ll go through a recap of the features next.
Wi-Fi 6/WPA 3 Router Advantages
A big part of the need to update the wireless connection standard is that we have more devices in our homes and offices than ever before.
80% of companies have signified that smart devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) has been a focus over the last 12 months, and the average U.S. home is up to an estimated 9.1 internet-connected devices.
With more demand being put on Wi-Fi routers, the connection standard has been overhauled to help keep up. Here are the reasons to consider upgrading to Wi-Fi 6 in the coming year.
Up to 40% Faster Internet Speeds
The speed improvement alone is a big reason to upgrade, with Wi-Fi 6 being estimated at up to 40% faster than its predecessor. This is accomplished due to a couple of different improvements.
- Increase in Signal Capacity: Signals can now carry more bits, which means more data is delivered faster. It’s something like increasing the size of a package delivery truck, allowing it to deliver more in a single trip.
- Bandwidth Improvement: The bandwidth used for wireless connections has increased from 80 MHz to 160 MHz, which means improved performance and less lag time. Think of it as going from a two-lane highway to a 4-lane highway, it has more ability to handle more traffic.
Improved Wireless Security
No longer will you have to look over your shoulder when on a public Wi-Fi connection, because the new WPA3 standard makes it much more difficult for hackers to spy on your traffic or crack hash codes offline.
Security enhancements with a Wi-Fi 6 router include:
- Stops Hackers from Using Dictionary Attacks: In a dictionary attack a hacker downloads the key for a Wi-Fi router and runs hacking software on it offline, which guesses multiple codes until it reaches the right one. This will no longer be possible due to the need to authenticate each connection.
- User Encryption on Public Wi-Fi: Even free public Wi-Fis with a shared password will have the ability to encrypt individual user traffic with the new standard. It uses what’s known as Opportunistic Wireless Encryption and CERTIFIED Enhanced Open™ to accomplish the added security which stops those on the same network from spying on your activity.
Better Handling of Multiple Devices
Since the last Wi-Fi standard came out 5 years ago, the number of internet-connected devices that are relying on a home or office router has increased exponentially. The new Wi-Fi 6 routers are better able to accommodate all those requests.
Technology used to increase the capability and quality of multiple device connections include:
- Better MU-MIMO: Multi-user, multiple input, multiple output (MU-MIMO) isn’t a new technology, but it’s been improved in Wi-Fi 6. Routers are now able to talk to multiple devices and those devices can talk back at the same time, reducing backlogs for connections.
- Division into Subchannels: Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) is a technology that allows one wireless channel to be divided into as many subchannels as needed and each carries data to a specific device, meaning even on crowded routers, speeds will be faster and more consistent.
Need Help with a Network Upgrade?
Whether you are looking to upgrade an office or home network, Cris’s Tech Repair can assist you with a smooth upgrade to Wi-Fi 6 and ensure you have all the wireless coverage you need with no weak zones.
Contact us today to schedule a Wi-Fi 6 set up at 561-985-4961 or through our contact form.