written by Winston (Device Deal) • Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
Learn more about Wi-Fi 6 and explore our top-selling router models.
Wi-Fi 6 is the newest generation of Wi-Fi technologies, and an evolution from the 802.11ac (or Wi-Fi 5) standard. It was finalised in late 2019 and, since then, has gradually received adoption in consumer and enterprise devices.
Compared to its predecessor, Wi-Fi 6 adds many welcome features, including:
You might have also heard about Wi-Fi 6E. While similar, Wi-Fi 6E is best viewed as a separate standard from ordinary Wi-Fi 6. We have more information about Wi-Fi 6E and the 6Ghz wavelength up on our blog, if you're interested.
You may have seen Wi-Fi 6 routers advertised with the letters 'AX' followed by a string of numbers. An example of this is an AX5400 router. Many people won't know what this means, so let's quickly break down what these terms mean:
So, for example, a router which is advertised as AX1800 will mean it should support speeds of up to 1800Mbps, as well as the Wi-Fi 6 standard.
The same can be said for previous generations of Wi-Fi, which followed a similar naming convention. In those cases, the AX portion will just be changed to reflect the latest standard of Wi-Fi that the router supports (most likely AC, as this was the generation prior to AX, or Wi-Fi 6).
It should be noted, however, that these maximum speeds are inclusive of combined bandwidth from the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands. Since your device can only transmit data on one band, and since these speeds are only theoretical (i.e. tested under ideal laboratory conditions), you won't actually achieve these maximum speeds in reality.
There are some routers which include a variety of extra features intended for specific use cases. These include gaming routers, Mesh-enabled routers, and routers with many IO ports (such as Ethernet LAN, USB or more).
Let's go over some of the different types of Wi-Fi 6 routers you may want to consider.
If you are a hardcore gamer or streamer, you might want to consider a router that is specifically tailored for low latency, high bandwidth gaming.
Not only are these routers typically faster and more lucrative than their ordinary counterparts - they also include features that are designed to make gaming as seamless as possible. These features can include:
You can shop our range of gaming routers by clicking here.
For those living in mid-to-large size homes, a single router often isn't enough to provide full Wi-Fi coverage throughout the home. In these cases, you'll experience dropouts in areas of your home, such as your backyard, garage, or indoors.
Thankfully, Mesh Wi-Fi provides a solution. These routers:
You can shop our range of Mesh Wi-Fi by clicking here.
Some people prefer using mobile broadband for their internet. In some cases, a 5G broadband plan is actually faster and cheaper than a comparable NBN plan. Plus, some 5G and 4G routers can be used portably.
These routers have certain benefits, including:
You can shop our range of 5G and 4G Routers by clicking here.
Generally speaking, Wi-Fi 6 routers tend to be more expensive, and cost more, than older Wi-Fi 5 routers. Whether Wi-Fi 6 is worth the extra cost depends on your individual circumstances.
If your existing router works fine, and you're not experiencing slow speeds or Wi-Fi dropouts, then perhaps you might not need to upgrade.
On the other hand, if you regularly stream 4K movies, or have a lot of devices connected on Wi-Fi, you will appreciate the far higher bandwidth and client-capacity that Wi-Fi 6 offers.
It should also be said that Wi-Fi 5 is an older technology, having been introduced in 2013. On the other hand, Wi-Fi 6 is much more recent, debuting in 2019. It doesn't make much sense, if you're looking to upgrade your router, to choose the older Wi-Fi 5 standard. Wi-Fi 6 will be much more future-proof, and is better able to handle both today and tomorrow's internet requirements.
Still undecided? You're most welcome to contact our team for tailored advice.