Beyond Connectivity The Revolution of WiFi 6

WiFi 6 technology, or 802.11ax, represents a significant leap forward in wireless connectivity. It is engineered to cope with the growing number of internet-connected devices, estimated to reach over 29 billion by 2030. The new standard is expected to revolutionise connectivity by providing faster speeds, reduced latency, and improved battery life. 

WiFi 6 technology leverages OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access) and MU-MIMO (Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output) to allow more devices to connect and operate simultaneously without congestion. It is a pivotal innovation for crowded public venues and device-dense smart homes. This article will discuss what WiFi 6 is and why it is a game-changer for enhancing network connectivity.

What is WiFi 6?

WiFi 6 is the latest wireless connectivity standard released in 2014. It offers a more efficient and powerful way of connecting devices to the internet. Multiple devices communicate more efficiently over a wireless access point (WAP) as it prioritises traffic across them.

Comparing WiFi 5 vs. WiFi 6, both work on 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz carrier frequencies. However, WiFi 6 improves upon the limitations of WiFi 5. It offers higher data transfer speeds with less delay between sending and receiving data. The lower latency results in a smoother and faster user experience.

Enhanced speed and efficiency

WiFi 6 theoretically commits to a maximum speed of 9.8GBPS, exceeding the capabilities of WiFi 5 (802.11ac). It efficiently handles heavy data traffic using OFDMA, an improvement on Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM). Multiple devices can share the same channel simultaneously, increasing network efficiency and reducing latency.

WiFi 6 also uses 1024 quadrature amplitude modulation (1024-QAM) to increase throughput for emerging use cases. These improvements ensure faster and more reliable connections. WiFi 6 is ideal for high-bandwidth applications like online gaming, social media platforms, video and music streaming.

Increased capacity for multiple devices

WiFi 6 handles a higher number of devices simultaneously using MU-MIMO technology. It allows multiple devices to communicate with the router at the same time. WiFi 6 technology increases network capacity and reduces congestion. Ideal for smart homes and workplaces with numerous connected devices, it offers a seamless internet experience for all users without the risk of network paralysis.

Improved range and coverage

WiFi 6 speed is complemented by enhanced range and coverage. It supports more efficient wireless operations through improved data transfer capacity per cell. Additionally, WiFi 6 helps alleviate traffic congestion and interference by accommodating more clients. It addresses potential dead zones by providing a more consistent internet experience throughout a space.

Benefits of IoT devices

Smart devices are permeating our lives, with the number of IoT devices projected to grow to 29 billion by 2030. WiFi 6 technology will present a more secure, efficient, and faster way for IoT devices to connect and communicate.

The key benefits of WiFi6 for IoT devices are:

Improved security

WiFi 6 supports WPA3 (WiFi Protected Access 3) to enhance user privacy in open networks. Supporting forward secrecy, it limits data decryption even in case of password theft. WPA3 simplifies configuring headless IoT devices by scanning a QR code. It offers higher levels of security to meet public, government, defence, and industrial network requirements.

Enhanced battery life

WiFi 6 provides increased battery life for IoT devices through its Target Wake Time (TWT) technology feature. It allows devices to schedule specific intervals for data transfer. IoT devices may not need an always-on connection. TWT keeps them in a low power state until beacons signal them to wake up and exchange data. It helps in reducing power consumption and extending battery life. 

WiFi 6 is especially beneficial for IoT devices deployed in remote or hard-to-reach locations. With longer battery life, these devices can operate for extended periods without frequent replacements or maintenance, making them more cost-effective and efficient.

Compatibility and devices

WiFi 6 supports smartphones, laptops, tablets, and IoT devices, including smart home appliances, medical monitoring devices, and wearables. Its predecessor uses the same basic frequency bands. Therefore, any device that can connect to 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands will be able to connect to a WiFi 6 network due to its backward compatibility.

Old devices may experience a partial range of benefits. However, they can be upgraded by plugging in an adapter to the device’s USB port or PCI slot. BSS Coloring (Basic Service Set Coloring) supports reliable connectivity to the network for multiple devices. It ensures faster download and upload speeds, improved streaming quality, and reduced lag time.

Implementation of WiFi 6 in business environments

Upgrading to WiFi 6 technology is beneficial for businesses as it can result in increased network capacity, better speed, and greater power savings. It can handle the demands of multiple devices without any drop in performance, and with faster speeds and increased bandwidth, it can improve workforce productivity. Tasks that previously took longer to complete can now be done in a fraction of the time. WiFi 6 can improve voice over internet protocol (VoIP) phone systems, video conferencing, and cloud-based applications, resulting in smoother communication and collaboration within the organisation.

Efficient bandwidth sharing is also important for industries deploying IIoT (Industrial IoT), like advanced manufacturing or warehousing. These industries use sensors, scanners, and connected devices to automate tasks. WiFi 6 technology provides the necessary network infrastructure for these devices to operate smoothly and without any interruptions. The extended battery life allows businesses to leverage IIoT equipment at scale.

Moreover, implementing WiFi 6 technology can also enhance security in business environments. With the introduction of WPA3 encryption, data transmission over WiFi 6 networks is much more secure compared to previous WiFi generations. It provides peace of mind for businesses that deal with sensitive data. They can ensure their network is protected from potential attacks.

Implementation of WiFi 6 in home environments

In a home setting, implementing WiFi 6 technology can greatly improve the internet experience for all household members. Home networks are becoming densely populated, with multiple devices being used simultaneously. From live streaming to playing online games and video conferencing, WiFi 6 provides the necessary bandwidth without interruptions. It also allows for faster file transfers, making it easier to share large files within the household.

With the rise of IoT, more and more households are incorporating smart home automation and security devices such as thermostats, security cameras, and voice assistants. WiFi 6 can handle increased demand for connectivity from these devices without compromising speed or performance.

Moreover, WiFi 6 technology also offers better coverage and range compared to previous WiFi generations. It is beneficial for larger homes or homes with multiple floors that face low connectivity issues as devices move farther from the router. WiFi 6 ensures a stable and strong connection throughout the entire house. Extended coverage offered by WiFi 6 eliminates the need for WiFi extenders or additional access points.

Future of wireless connectivity

WiFi 6 is expected to have a significant and lasting impact on the future of wireless communication technologies. It is a next-gen wireless standard capable of accelerating speed, improving efficiency, and reducing congestion in heavy bandwidth usage scenarios. 

The long-term implications of WiFi 6 are:

•    Reliable wireless connectivity for autonomous vehicles: The high speed and low latency of WiFi 6 will facilitate real-time communication between the vehicle's sensors, cameras, and telematic devices. It will help improve in-cabin data connectivity for entertainment, diagnostics, and over-the-air upgrades. 
•    Enhanced IoT connectivity: IoT advancements in smart homes, wearables, smart cities, and industrial automation are inevitable. WiFi 6 will enable more devices to connect by facilitating better speed, greater capacity, and energy efficiency.
•    Boost virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR): AR & VR are immersive technologies that require high-speed and low-latency connections to provide a seamless experience. WiFi 6 can provide bandwidth and low latency for VR and AR applications. It will make them more accessible to a wider audience.
•    Support telemedicine: Medical services are provided remotely through video conferencing, remote patient monitoring, or other forms of online communication. Reliable and secure wireless connectivity through WiFi 6 will ensure high-quality audio and video transmission. It will enable better communication between doctors and patients, improving healthcare outcomes.
•    Facilitate remote work and education: Reliable and fast wireless connectivity is critical for remote work and education. WiFi 6 provides a more stable connection and better video conferencing quality. It improves productivity in remote work or learning environments.
•    Sustainability: WiFi 6's energy-efficient features make it a more sustainable option than previous wireless standards. It can handle more data in a single transmission and supports a more significant number of connected devices. The overall energy consumption of wireless networks is reduced.


WiFi 6 technology is a game-changer as it sets new standards for wireless connectivity compared to its counterpart. Its implementation results in faster speed, increased capacity, better power efficiency, enhanced security, and extended coverage. It can potentially impact various industries, including healthcare, transportation, manufacturing, and education, in the future. 

With its numerous benefits and promising capabilities, WiFi 6 is set to transform wireless connectivity and become the standard for all networks.

About the author: Akancha Tripathi is a contributing writer for HP Tech Takes. Akancha is a national award-winning content writer and has experience creating well-researched content for industry-leading technology companies.