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Wireless Internet was first available to consumers in 1999. At that time, it was a slow but “nice to have” feature. When first introduced, the only devices capable of using it were laptops with specially purchased add-on cards. In just four years, laptops commonly came with Wi-Fi, and the speed increased from 11 Mbps to 54 Mbps. In 2007, Apple introduced the iPhone. The phone was able to take advantage of the 100 Mbps Wi-Fi speeds that had just become available. Since that time, the number of devices that use Wi-Fi has exploded. The wireless speed also increased to a theoretical 600 Mbps of throughput and operates on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies.
With Wi-Fi 6, the focus is to make speeds more efficient. After all, what good is speed to a race car when the lanes are all full of traffic? That means going forward, all devices capable of using Wi-Fi 6 will benefit from something called Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA). This new technology is considered the most important part of Wi-Fi 6. It divides up a Wi-Fi channel into smaller frequencies. Thinking of our car analogy, this is like repainting the lines on a road to support more lanes of traffic at the same time. For your Wi-Fi 6 capable device, this means that more people can share the same connection at the same time without having to take turns so much on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies.
Another important feature of Wi-Fi 6 is enhancements to multi-user multiple-input multiple-output (MU-MIMO). This feature enables the router and your device to better talk to each other over the antennas simultaneously.
There are several other enhancements to Wi-Fi 6 that makes it more efficient than the previous versions. For example, it ensures that only one radio can transmit on a channel at the same time. It does this by shortening the listening time that your devices need to make sure the airwaves are clear to transmit using something called Overlapping Basic Service Sets Coloring or BSS Color. Simply put, if the transmission finds the color is the same, then it will wait. If the color is different, then it will transmit. If we think back to the road analogy, it is similar to traffic lights.
What You Need
To take advantage of Wi-Fi 6, you need a new router capable of supporting it, like the new Blast Wi-Fi routers we offer at ITC. Cutting edge routers such as these feature the latest hardware and software security and help ensure your Internet connection is lightning fast. They use intelligent mesh devices to extend the routers’ reach throughout the house without the need for old-fashioned, unreliable extenders.
What does all this jargon mean to you? We have you covered. We offer top-of-the-line equipment that will support your devices and needs. If you are interested in learning more about the latest Wi-Fi 6 routers offered by ITC, please give us a call today.
-Michael Martinell, The Broadband Guy