Another year, another new form of connection technology that mystifies those not intimately familiar with the industry. Wi-Fi 6 has been gaining significant traction for in-home use, but there’s still a misunderstanding on what it is, and what benefits it could have for users. So, is making the leap worth it for you? We take a look.
What is Wi-Fi 6?
Device and Use Matters
When Wi-Fi 5 was adopted in 2014, the average American household had five connected network devices. Today, that number has risen to nine, with more systems being added at a rapid rate. These used to mostly include mobiles and laptops, but today often include multiple smart TVs, networked appliances, smart watches, game consoles, and more.
Smaller Smart Gadgets
As for how much of a difference each device will notice with an upgrade to Wi-Fi 6, that depends on the use. Smaller smart home tech requires so little in the way of bandwidth and latency that it could function fine on Wi-Fi 5 for years, but other systems will see more overt benefits.
Long since replacing cable for most users, video streaming could see appreciable advantages on highly congested home networks if Wi-Fi 6 is adopted. The constant buffering problem that we often have to deal with can have many causes, from bandwidth to weak signal strength due to poor router placement, but too many devices on one network can also be a root cause. Switching to a more modern system could alleviate this issue for some streamers.
MMO Games & Fast Paced Games
Gaming tends to be the most demanding pursuit most users will put on their home network. Any slowdown here can manifest as stuttering, latency, dropped connections, and an unearned defeat. MMO games have a lot of moving parts that can get confused on oversaturated networks, for example, and Wi-Fi 6 could smooth this type of play out. The same can be said for FPS and fighting games, as part of the group of titles that require the highest levels of uninterrupted connectivity.
Wi-Fi 6 won’t be a game changer for everyone, many users might not even notice an upgrade creating a difference. For players of fast-paced games or those who do a lot of streaming, however, this type of upgrade will eventually become a necessity. Pay attention to how often your network struggles, and try troubleshooting to see if you can find a solution with the tech you already have. If not, then it might be worth seriously considering making a move to Wi-Fi 6. At the very least, a Wi-Fi 6 upgrade will remove one potential source of issues, and prepare your network for the years ahead.