Is Wi-Fi 6 better than Wi-Fi 5?
Before diving deep into Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6 comparison, let us first understand how WiFi works in general.
A Wi-Fi network is a Wireless Local Area Network. It is distance specific.
In Wi-Fi networks, generally, there is a Wi-Fi Router and devices connected to it.
Wi-Fi Router provides an internet connection and all the devices nearby connect to the internet using Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi router has antennas for communication.
In between the devices, Radio Frequency communication takes place.
First of all, Devices are connected to the Wi-Fi Router. Data is converted into a Radio signal by the wireless adapter of the phone or laptop, the radio signal is received by the Wi-Fi Router, and converted again into a data packet. Also, the Router transmits Radio Signal using the Antenna and Wireless Adapter of the laptop or phone to receive and decodes them into data packets.
What are Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6?
Wi-Fi 5 or IEEE 802.11ac-2013 is the latest Wi-Fi technology. This uses 5GHz bandwidth with a channel width from 20 MHz to 160 MHz. It uses the technology of OFDM. OFDM means Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing.
Wi-Fi 6 or IEEE 802.11ax is the more enhanced and fast version. It uses 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bandwidth with the same channel width from 20 MHz to 160 MHz. It uses the technology of OFDMA. OFDMA means Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access.
How Wi-Fi 6 is better than Wi-Fi 5?
Yes, WiFi-6 is better compared to Wi-Fi 5. Here is how it is-
In Frequency Division multiplexing, used in earlier versions of Wi-Fi, a guard band was allocated in the band. This prevents interference but slowed down the rate of data transfer.
In Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing, used in Wi-Fi 5, All of the signals are overlapped but the peak of one signal is null of other signals. This saves bandwidth allocation and the receiver antenna is fast to distinguish between different signals as the peak of any signal would interfere with the null of other signals. This happens simultaneously. The bandwidth is used by users simultaneously at different times. Data speed is around 3.5 Gbps.
But, Wi-Fi 6 uses Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access. This is a multi-version of OFDM. Here, bandwidth is divided into smaller units known as resource units. These resource units contribute up to 8-9 users at a time. Hence, with this technology, multiple devices can communicate using parts of the channel width catering to many users at a time.
This concept of Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access helps Wi-Fi 6 to come out faster and supports multiple users as compared to Wi-Fi 5. The high speed is up to 9.6 Gbps.
Moreover, it has bi-directional Multi-user, multiple-input, multiple-output technology MU-MIMO (8×8) for uplink and downlinks but WiFi 5 had MU-MIMO (4×4) for downlink only, and 1024QAM modulation technique which in cooperates more data for WiFi 6 as compared to 256QAM for Wi-Fi 5.
As the world upgraded from wired internet connections to wireless connections, from Ethernet to WiFi, and from 3G to 4G and now to 5G, it is important and necessary for you to always keep upgrading for better and enhanced services.
Upgrading from WiFi 5 to WiFi 6 is a good idea as WiFi 6 is relatively faster than WiFi 5.
It is recommended to upgrade your version of WiFi because WiFi 6 is capable of handling multiple loads altogether in busier environments more efficiently than WiFi 5.
If you have multiple high-end systems running at once on the internet, WiFi 6 could be a great up-gradation but if you are a solo device user or two, WiFi 5 is ok for you.
It can be concluded that depending upon usability, need, and faster access to the internet; one may choose the best suitable option for themselves.