What is WiFi 6E & Do I Need It?
Internet & Mobile Security Blog | MATE | 26 June 2023
As we navigate our increasingly interconnected world, the quest for faster and more dependable internet has never been more pressing. Our daily lives are inextricably linked to technology, making the search for a superior Wi-Fi solution all the more important. Enter Wi-Fi 6E, an impressive newcomer that builds upon the foundation of Wi-Fi 6. In this blog, we’ll get you up to speed as we delve into the world of Wi-Fi 6E, exploring its features, benefits, and whether it’s the right choice for you.
What is Wi-Fi 6E?
Wi-Fi 6E is an advancement in wireless technology used by modem-routers that goes beyond traditional Wi-Fi, which typically uses two bands (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz). Instead, Wi-Fi 6E builds upon the existing Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) standard, giving users access to a new, less congested 6 GHz band.
By incorporating the efficiency-enhancing features of Wi-Fi 6, such as OFDMA (which allows multiple users to share a single channel), WPA3 (the latest Wi-Fi security protocol), and Target Wake Time (a power-saving feature for devices), Wi-Fi 6E can provide a more consistent and cleaner wireless spectrum with reduced interference. This leads to faster data transfer, better security and improved overall efficiency, making Wi-Fi 6E perfect for supporting cutting-edge applications like high-definition video streaming and immersive virtual reality experiences.
WiFi 6E: pros and cons
Before you decide whether or not to upgrade to a WiFi 6E router, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons associated with this new technology.
Pros of WiFi 6E:
- Increased capacity: WiFi 6E offers more available channels in the 6 GHz band, which means it can support more simultaneously connected devices, reducing network traffic volume issues and interference. All of this fosters a soother online experience.
- Wider channels: With support for wider channels (up to 160 MHz), WiFi 6E is better suited for bandwidth-hungry applications such as high-definition video streaming and virtual reality experiences, ensuring seamless performance.
- Less interference: The 6 GHz band is less crowded than the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, which means there is less interference from other wireless devices, leading to a more stable and reliable connection.
- Improved efficiency: WiFi 6E builds upon the efficiency features of WiFi 6, like OFDMA, WPA3, and Target Wake Time, enhancing the overall user experience with faster speeds, better security, and energy-saving capabilities.
Cons of WiFi 6E:
- Limited device support: As of now, there are still only relatively few devices that support WiFi 6E. This means that unless you have compatible devices (e.g. smartphones or laptops), you won’t be able to take full advantage of the benefits offered by the new technology.
- Cost: WiFi 6E routers are typically more expensive than WiFi 6 routers, which might make them less appealing to some users, especially if they don’t have any WiFi 6E-capable devices.
- Reduced range: Due to the higher frequency of the 6 GHz band, WiFi 6E signals have a shorter range compared to the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. This can lead to a shorter signal range, which might be a concern for users with larger homes or offices.
Do I need Wi-Fi 6E?
To answer this question, we must first understand the differences between Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E. Wi-Fi 6 is a relatively recent wireless networking standard and offers faster speeds and new features compared to its predecessor, Wi-Fi 5. One of the most notable features of Wi-Fi 6 is its support for the 6 GHz frequency band. That’s where Wi-Fi 6E comes in.
While Wi-Fi 6E offers several benefits over Wi-Fi 6, such as increased capacity and wider channels, it may not be necessary for everyone. The average network user may not see much of a difference in performance between a Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E router, especially if they live in a less densely populated area where congestion is not a significant issue.
That said, if you’re looking to future-proof your wireless network and are willing to invest in new hardware, Wi-Fi 6E may be a consideration. However, for most people, Wi-Fi 6 is likely more than enough to meet their current needs.
MATE’s TP-Link VX230v Modem: The perfect WiFi 6 solution
If you’re looking for a fast and reliable connection without breaking the bank on a WiFi 6E router, consider MATE’s TP-Link VX230v Modem. This pre-configured modem router offers compatibility with any nbn technology, ensuring a seamless plug-and-play experience. With MATE’s modem, you can enjoy:
- Dual-band WiFi 6 (AX1800) offering 1201Mbps via 5GHz and 574Mbps via 2GHz
- Enhanced wireless experience with multiple device support
- Robust hardware interface, including additional gigabit ethernet ports and a USB 2.0 port
- VoIP calls with the simple connection of your existing telephone set
- Advanced security options, such as WPA/WPA2/WPA3-PSK
When you sign up for a MATE nbn plan and choose the Ultra WiFi Modem option, you can be confident that your modem router will work properly when it arrives at your doorstep. If you need help configuring it, our customer support team is ready to assist you. This makes it an excellent choice for users who want a reliable, high-performance WiFi 6 solution without the additional cost of WiFi 6E.
WiFi 6E is an exciting advancement in wireless technology, offering additional capacity, reduced interference, and support for high-bandwidth applications. However, not all users may need the extra capabilities provided by WiFi 6E. For many, a WiFi 6 router like MATE’s TP-Link VX230v Modem will provide more than enough speed and reliability for their nbn internet needs.
Before upgrading to a WiFi 6E router, consider the devices you currently use and whether they support WiFi 6E. If they don’t, or if you’re not planning on upgrading your devices in the near future, a WiFi 6 router might be the better option for you. Furthermore, consider the cost of WiFi 6E routers and whether the additional benefits outweigh the higher price.
At the end of the day, the WiFi 6E is an excellent option for users who require the best possible wireless performance and have compatible devices. For others, a WiFi 6 router like MATE’s TP-Link VX230v Modem will still provide fast and reliable connections, above and beyond previous generations of WiFi technology.
Frequently asked questions
What factors can affect the actual data throughput of my Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 6E router?
The actual data throughput of your Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 6E router—or the real speed at which data is transmitted—can be affected by factors such as:
- network and environmental conditions
- network traffic volume
- device limitations
- building construction
- interference from other wireless devices
How does a mesh Wi-Fi system improve my Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 6E experience?
LA mesh Wi-Fi system, which consists of multiple interconnected nodes or access points, can significantly enhance your Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 6E experience by extending coverage, improving signal strength, and providing seamless connectivity. This system ensures that your Wi-Fi devices maintain a strong connection as you move around your home or office, eliminating dead zones and enhancing overall network performance.
Can I still connect wired devices to a Wi-Fi 6E router?
Yes, Wi-Fi 6E routers typically have Ethernet ports that allow you to connect wired devices, such as gaming consoles, desktop computers and smart TVs. These ports ensure that even more wired devices can enjoy the benefits of fast and reliable internet connectivity.
How does the performance of Wi-Fi 6E routers compare to traditional Wi-Fi routers?
Wi-Fi 6E routers offer increased capacity, wider channels and less interference compared to traditional Wi-Fi routers. This results in improved wireless speeds and a better overall user experience, especially when multiple devices are connected to the network.
Will my current Wi-Fi devices work with a Wi-Fi 6E router?
While Wi-Fi 6E routers are backward compatible with older Wi-Fi devices, you’ll only experience the full benefits of the 6 GHz band and improved efficiency if your devices also support Wi-Fi 6E. Check your device specifications to determine if they are compatible with Wi-Fi 6E technology.
How can I ensure that my Wi-Fi 6E router delivers the best possible wireless speeds?
To get the best wireless speeds from your Wi-Fi 6E router, ensure that you are using compatible Wi-Fi 6E-capable devices, position the router in a central location away from potential sources of interference, and regularly update the router’s firmware to benefit from performance enhancements and security updates.
Can Wi-Fi 6E routers help to mitigate congestion from other Wi-Fi networks?
Yes, Wi-Fi 6E routers can help to reduce congestion from other Wi-Fi networks by utilising the less crowded 6 GHz band. This band provides more available channels and wider bandwidth, resulting in reduced interference and improved overall network performance.
How does a Wi-Fi 6E router handle network traffic from various Wi-Fi devices?
Wi-Fi 6E routers use advanced features like OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access) to efficiently manage network traffic from multiple Wi-Fi devices. This technology allows the router to divide its bandwidth into smaller channels, enabling simultaneous data transmission to and from multiple devices, resulting in a more efficient and smoother Wi-Fi experience.
How can I ensure my vulnerable smart devices are secure when using a Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 6E router?
To keep your vulnerable smart devices secure on a Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 6E network, ensure that your router supports the latest security protocols like WPA3. Additionally, regularly update your devices’ firmware, use strong and unique passwords, and disable features that you do not need.
Are Wi-Fi 6E routers more energy-efficient than previous Wi-Fi routers?
Yes, Wi-Fi 6E routers are more energy-efficient compared to previous Wi-Fi routers. They incorporate features like Target Wake Time (TWT), which allows devices to schedule when they communicate with the router, reducing power consumption and extending the battery life of connected devices.