What is Wi-Fi 6? ...And, Why is it Better, for Streaming?

By: The BitMar Team.

What is Wi-Fi 6?

According to The IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA), and The Wi-Fi Alliance... Wi-Fi 6 – also known, as: 802.11ax – is the latest generation of Wi-Fi technology; that is designed to provide faster speeds, better performance, and increased efficiency—compared to its predecessors. This new technology is particularly well-suited for streaming; as it allows for more devices to be connected, simultaneously; provides greater capacity; and improved performance, in high-density environments.

The standard for Wi-Fi 6 (also known as 802.11ax) is set, by: the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE): a professional organization that develops technical standards, for various industries, including the telecommunications, and networking industries.

Specifically, the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) is responsible for developing, and maintaining, the technical specifications, for Wi-Fi 6. The IEEE-SA works with industry leaders, and experts, to develop and publish standards, for various wireless technologies—including Wi-Fi.

The Wi-Fi Alliance – a global nonprofit organization; that promotes, and certifies, Wi-Fi technology – also plays a role in promoting, and testing, compliance with the Wi-Fi 6 standard. They work with companies, to ensure that their products meet the Wi-Fi 6 standard, and can be certified, as: Wi-Fi-6-compatible.

So... what makes Wi-Fi 6 better, for streaming?

Firstly, Wi-Fi 6 is designed to provide faster speeds, with theoretical maximum speeds of up to 9.6 Gbps—which is almost three times faster than Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac.) While you may not always achieve these maximum speeds, in real-world usage, even the more modest speeds that are achievable with Wi-Fi 6, are much faster than those of earlier Wi-Fi standards. This makes Wi-Fi 6 ideal for streaming high-quality video content.

Another advantage of Wi-Fi 6, is: that it uses a more-advanced modulation scheme, called: 1024-QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation.) This allows for more data to be transmitted, per packet. This means, that: more data can be sent, and received, in a shorter amount of time; leading to faster download/upload speeds, and reduced latency. This can be particularly beneficial for streaming; as it can reduce buffering, and improve overall performance.

In addition, Wi-Fi 6 uses a feature, called: MU-MIMO (Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output), which allows for multiple devices to be served, simultaneously. This is particularly important in homes with multiple people streaming content, at the same time. Wi-Fi 6 ensures that everyone can enjoy a smooth streaming experience, without any buffering, nor lag.

Wi-Fi 6 also introduces a new feature called Target Wake Time (TWT), which is designed to improve battery life, on devices that connect to Wi-Fi. TWT allows devices to schedule: when they will wake up, and communicate with the Wi-Fi network, reducing the amount of time that they need to be powered on, and extending their battery life. This can be particularly beneficial for streaming on mobile devices, as it can help to reduce battery drain, and ensure that you can enjoy your content for longer periods of time.

Overall, Wi-Fi 6 represents a significant improvement over previous Wi-Fi standards—particularly, when it comes to streaming. With faster speeds, better performance in high-density environments, and the ability to serve multiple devices, simultaneously... Wi-Fi 6 is the perfect choice, for anyone who wants to enjoy a seamless streaming experience, on their devices. If you are in the market, for a new router, it is definitely worth considering a Wi-Fi-6-enabled device, to ensure that you get the best possible performance for your streaming needs.

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