The differences between Wi-Fi 6 vs Wi-Fi 5

Although WiFi 5 is adequate for many businesses, WiFi 6 is definitely worth learning about. Learn the critical distinctions between the two and what they could mean for your company.

Since its introduction, WiFi 6 — also known as 802.11ax has been distinct from its predecessors. It is accompanied by various new capabilities, features, and a brand new name method. WiFi 6 aimed to create a buzz in the world of networking.

WiFi 6 entered the limelight in the latter half of 2018, and in late 2018, the WiFi Alliance announced it alongside introducing a new name system for each generation of WiFi. The previous WiFi generations are more often referred to as technical standards designations that are provided by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers: 802.11b (WiFi 1), 802.11a (WiFi 2), 802.11g (WiFi 3), 802.11n (WiFi 4) and 802.11ac (WiFi 5). The previous generations of WiFi aren’t yet officially embracing the WiFi Alliance’s latest names; however, that’s not the only significant distinction between WiFi 6 and its predecessors.

The differences between WiFi 6 and. WiFi 5 specifically highlight the way WiFi 6 is aiming to set itself apart from the previous generation in that it offers more IoT capabilities and unique features, including orthogonal frequency-division multiple access ( OFDMA).

The WiFi 6 is versus. WiFi 5 controversy may not impact larger companies until around the mid-2020s. However, organizations must be aware of each generation’s capabilities and how they will affect their work.

The WiFi 5 standard and WiFi 6

WiFi 5. . More commonly referred to as 802.11ac, this is the 5th version of WiFi. It is directly before WiFi 6. It is an upgrade on the 802.11a standard that ruled the world throughout 2010. Before 802.11ac was dubbed WiFi 5, it was also known as Gigabit WiFi since this was the initial standard in WiFi to go over 1 Gbps as an acceptable data rate.

WiFi 5 took advantage of several features introduced in the second generation of WiFi, such as orthogonal frequency division multiplexing ( OFDM) and the capability to operate in a 5 GHz band. WiFi 5 made these capabilities available to capabilities that would be beneficial and assist networks and technologies for networks at the time, like improved video streaming capabilities as well as backups of files.

WiFi 6. . Also called 802.11ax, the WiFi 6 technology is the most advanced version of WiFi. It enhances areas like the network’s performance, highest data speeds, and wired network infrastructure. WiFi 6 promises an extensive transformation in networking that will bring new and exciting features that can create WiFi 6 fundamentally distinct from earlier generations.

The WiFi 6 compares to. The WiFi 5 controversy focuses on the features and similarities that both standards have, such as multiple multiuser inputs, multiple outputs (MU-MIMO), and a goal to reach high frequency and data rates. Yet, WiFi 6 is more likely to meet shared frequency and speed goals because of its enhanced capability to support more significant numbers of devices and clients simultaneously using features like OFDMA.

The significant distinctions between WiFi 6 and. WiFi 5 are the following:

  • accessibility point (AP) capacity
  • AP spatial streams
  • frequency bands
  • maximum data rates
  • MU-MIMO

 While WiFi 6 and WiFi 5 offer similar capabilities and features, WiFi 6 heightens these abilities for enhanced traffic speeds and alleviating traffic congestion.

Comparing the differences between WiFi 6 and. WiFi 5.

AP capacity. The WiFi 6 debate vs. WiFi 5 controversy regarding AP capacity starts with WiFi 6’s most groundbreaking feature OFDMA. OFDMA is a WiFi 5’s OFDM variant that encodes data using several carrier frequencies to limit interference between channels. OFDMA improves these capabilities and allows WiFi 6 APs to connect to many clients simultaneously, while WiFi 5 APs can connect to one client per channel.

Multiuser support offered by OFDMA as opposed to OFDM’s single-user feature could help WiFi 6 APs become more efficient and allow for rapid, simultaneous response times.

Spatial streams of AP. WiFi 6 and WiFi 5 APs differ because of spatial streams and multi-channeled signaling transmitted by antennas as one channel in MIMO environments. WiFi 5 APs will always provide four spatial streams, which could be able to provide eight spatial streams. However, they can only offer eight streams in ideal conditions.

Vendors have already revealed WiFi 6 wireless APs featuring eight different spatial streams, which means this goal is more feasible in the current WiFi version. With more streams in the spatial space, WiFi 6 has higher maximum possible performance speeds, which means it will always perform better immediately upon launch compared to WiFi 5.

Band of frequency. WiFi 6 vs. WiFi 5 frequency bands differ, which impacts the capacity that each WiFi generation can offer. WiFi 5 uses teach WiFi generation data, whereas WiFi 6 uses the 2.4 5 GHz and 2.4 bands, providing higher throughput than WiFi 5.

The maximum data speed. AP capacity, frequency, and the spatial stream can all impact the top data transmission rates that can be achieved by WiFi 6 and WiFi 5. Although WiFi 5’s target data rate was 6.9 Gbps, organizations could only accomplish this in ideal conditions. The target rate for WiFi 6 was 9.6 Gbps, and with the promised improvements along with new functions, it’s more likely to achieve or even close to its goals.

Multi-MIMO. Traditional MIMO enables data sources and destinations to connect via multiple antennas, using smart antennas, which allows for faster and more seamless communication. MU-MIMO can also do this. However, it can allow various users to be part of one network simultaneously.

WiFi 5 utilizes downlink MU-MIMO. However, WiFi 6 can support bidirectional Multi-user-multiple-synchro for both downlink and uplink capabilities. WiFi 6 allows more than one user to upload and download files simultaneously, while WiFi 5 doesn’t. WiFi 6’s MU MIMO capabilities will provide increased speed.

Other features that are what make WiFi 6 worthwhile

The five features mentioned are among the key differences between WiFi 6 as compared to. WiFi 5 different technological advancements make the two versions. QAM signals are a significant distinction. The network engineer Lee Badman said WiFi 6 would feature QAM capabilities four times greater than WiFi 5. WiFi 6’s 1024-QAM capability will provide greater bandwidth than WiFi 5’s 256-QAM.

WiFi 6 can also support Target Wake Time (TWT) which allows users or clients to regulate how often it is that an AP interacts to reduce battery consumption and ease congestion in traffic. This feature will significantly help IoT adoption and allow organizations to include more IoT equipment in their network without having to be concerned about the negative impact on network performance because of the devices.

WiFi 6 employs the basic set of service (BSS) colors. The feature is essentially a color-coded system that identifies traffic according to a frequency in order to determine whether it is suitable to be utilized. The aim of BSS color-coding is to reduce and eliminate interferences from channels which could improve the efficiency of networks, Badman said.

TWT and BSS coloring are two things that WiFi 6 offers that WiFi 5 does not. While WiFi 5 works well for small businesses, the latest WiFi 6 capabilities could become necessary for businesses who want to adopt new technologies and start a transformation of their networks.