What Is Wi-FI 6E?
PC Magazine|March 2021
If you’re in the market for a new router or any device that uses Wi-Fi, you should first understand the new Wi-Fi 6E standard and what it means for the future of wireless networks at home and in offices around the US. The Wi-Fi Alliance, a group of Wi-Fi platform vendors that work with the FCC and electronics manufacturers to set standards for Wi-Fi technology, announced the Wi-Fi 6E designation in 2020 for any IEEE 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) products that support 6GHz wireless spectrum. Essentially, this means Wi-Fi 6E enables faster speeds and lower latencies than Wi-Fi 6 and earlier iterations.
JERRY JACKSON

WI-FI 6 VS. WI-FI 6E

When the IEEE 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) standard was first announced, it was limited by law to a wireless spectrum that only covered the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. Now, in a 2.4GHz band, you really have only three non-overlapping channels— and that bandwidth is shared by you, your family members, and your neighbors.

If you’ve ever had problems staying connected to a Zoom call or had the latest episode of The Mandalorian pause for buffering, spectrum congestion was probably the cause. When too many devices compete for bandwidth on the same wireless channel, then some of those signals will be dropped.

This isn’t just a matter of how many family members are connected to your home’s Wi-Fi network. Any other Wi-Fi network in range—such as the one beaming from your neighbor’s wireless router—is competing for bandwidth on the same limited number of channels.

In April 2020, the Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously to open up the 6GHz band for unlicensed use. With that policy change, significantly more airwaves are open that routers can use to broadcast Wi-Fi signals—and that’s a big deal.

The opening of the 6GHz band is the biggest spectrum addition to Wi-Fi since 1989. The jump from 5GHz to 6GHz might not sound like much, but it essentially quadruples the amount of airwaves available for routers and smart devices: 14 additional 80MHz channels and seven additional 160MHz channels. That means less signal interference.

Bottom line: Early-adopter devices using Wi-Fi 6 (such as the first batch of WiFi 6 routers) are limited to the 2.4GHz and 5GHz spectrum, but Wi-Fi 6E-compliant devices will have access to all those juicy 6GHz airwaves.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF WI-FI 6E?

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