Home Network

What’s The Difference Between Wi-fi 5 and Wi-fi 6?

I’ll give you a quick rundown on the main difference between the Wi-fi 5 and Wi-fi 6 standards. Ahh, wifi, is the best tech in …

By: Kevin Castle

Posted on:

wifi5 vs wifi6

I’ll give you a quick rundown on the main difference between the Wi-fi 5 and Wi-fi 6 standards.

Ahh, wifi, is the best tech in the world for easy access to your home or public internet. Wifi tech is always evolving, it’s almost annoying how fast it does evolve. It never fails, you buy a new router and a year later, bam, a new wifi protocol is released. Well, now, the new wifi 6 and 6E have been released (Soon wifi 7) and it’s a pretty awesome tech. Wifi 6 brings a host of new functionality and features from its sibling wifi 5. Let’s get to it, shall we?

So, what is the biggest difference between wifi 5 and wifi 6? Well, as simple as it is, speed. Wifi 6 is pretty damn fast. Wifi 6 can reach speeds of up to 9.6 gigabits per second, that shit is insane for consumer products. Being able to achieve these speeds is thanks to a number of improvements such as more efficient data encoding, wider channel bandwidths, and the use of things like OFDMA, or Ortho Frequency Division Multiple Access.

Another important difference is the ability to handle a larger number of connected devices. This is important if you have or want a smart home. Smart homes can have a shit ton of devices connected at once, so you need hardware to handle this load. The older wifi 5 can handle around 256 total devices whereas Wifi 6 can handle up to 1024 devices. Smart homes and offices can benefit massively from this as those two environments can easily have over the 256 device limit from Wifi 5. If a network is clogged up with too many devices, problems will emerge and shit stops working.

With faster speeds out of the way, what else can wifi 6 do? Well, it brings some mighty fine improvements to the way it can manage power. Devices made for Wifi 6 are created to be more energy efficient. This allows them to have a longer operation time with a single charge of the battery. So things like laptops, smartphones, and other smart home gadgets will last longer, allowing you to waste more time playing around. Nothing wrong with this, of course, I do this a lot. As you can see, better power management will be a great reason to update your tech at home or in the office.

Let’s talk about security. Wifi 6 gives you the ability to use a new security protocol called WPA3. This is designed to be much more secure and help prevent network intrusions. Of course, you need to have a good network password. Don’t make some dumb shit password and make it easy for hackers. WPA3 which is much more advanced than its predecessor offers advanced encryption which helps protect you from brute force attacks and other unlawful attempts of accessing your network. So, in short, Wifi 6 gives you better security.

With all these bells and whistles for wifi 6, it should be noted that it really isn’t a replacement for wifi 5. If you don’t have a bunch of devices, like more than 256, or don’t care too much about the whopping 9.6gbps speeds, then wifi 5 would be perfectly fine. However, the faster speeds and better security and the introduction to the 6ghz channel these new devices offer, an upgrade would be a big network improvement.

If you are interested in getting into the wi-fi 6 tech, I would suggest reading our review on the affordable TP-Link AX4400 Wifi 6 router.