Wi-Fi 6’s Claims Are Real

In tech it’s hard to discern marketing buzz from factual data. After struggling for months to get a reliable Wi-Fi performance at home thorough the use of different equipment, software optimization, setting tweaking, etc all problems went away with a single device: Amplifi Alien with support for Wi-Fi 6. Here’s a good review of the Amplifi Alien.

In a matter of minutes after set up I was able to get 3x better performance with a single device than with two Amplifi HDs or with enterprise grade UniFi equipment (UniFi Security Gateway, Switch and AP) both on iPhone 11 Pro which has Wi-Fi 6 support and devices without it.

Chris Hoffman from HowToGeek on Wi-Fi 6:

As usual, the latest Wi-Fi standard offers faster data transfer speeds. If you’re using a Wi-Fi router with a single device, maximum potential speeds should be up to 40% higher with Wi-Fi 6 compared to Wi-Fi 5.

Wi-Fi 6 accomplishes this through more efficient data encoding, resulting in higher throughput. Mainly, more data is packed into the same radio waves. The chips that encode and decode these signals keep getting more powerful and can handle the extra work.

Better battery life for your devices through Target Wake Time and better performance in crowded areas:

When the access point is talking to a device (like your smartphone), it can tell the device exactly when to put its Wi-Fi radio to sleep and exactly when to wake it up to receive the next transmission. This will conserve power, as it means the Wi-Fi radio can spend more time in sleep mode. And that means longer battery life.

[…]

Wi-Fi tends to get bogged down when you’re in a crowded place with a lot of Wi-FI enabled devices. Picture a busy stadium, airport, hotel, mall, or even a crowded office with everyone connected to Wi-Fi. You’re probably going to have slow Wi-Fi.

The new Wi-Fi 6, also known as 802.11ax, incorporates many new technologies to help with this. Intel trumpets that Wi-Fi 6 will improve each user’s average speed by “at least four times” in congested areas with a lot of connected devices.