× NETGEAR would like to hear from you about specific features so we can improve your experience. To participate in this survey please click HERE.
Reply

WiFi 6 ISN'T a Big Deal...Or Is It?!

Dustin_V
NETGEAR Employee Retired

WiFi 6 ISN'T a Big Deal...Or Is It?!

11.5-chp-banner3.pngWiFi 6 is here, and devices supporting the new standard are starting to hit store shelves, both off- and online. WiFi 6 promises to bring faster speeds and greater capacity... but there are some skeptics who believe that we aren’t quite ready for WiFi 6 and that its benefits will only be appreciated later rather than sooner. 

We disagree. Below, we’ll tackle many of the misconceptions about WiFi 6 and tell you why we believe now is a great time to make the switch and start your transition to using the new standard. But first, what exactly is WiFi 6?

 

11.5-chp-inline10.pngWiFi 6 (802.11ax) is the latest wireless standard, designed to improve the current WiFi standard, 802.11ac. Key benefits of WiFi 6 over previous standards like WiFi 5 (802.11ac) include 4x connected capacity, increased data throughput, and faster speeds, resulting in improved performance. This makes WiFi 6 ideal for supporting smart homes with multiple connected devices, 4K & 8K streaming content, large file downloads & uploads, and gigabit internet speed tiers, giving you a more enjoyable WiFi experience.

 

Now, time to dispel some of the common myths that surround WiFi 6:

  

Myth #1: There aren’t many WiFi 6 devices on the market

WiFi 6 enabled devices are readily available today from laptops on the market using Intel’s 10th-gen chips to the latest and greatest smartphones such as Samsung’s Galaxy S10 & Note 10, and Apple’s iPhone 11. With market movers such as Samsung, Apple, and Intel onboard with WiFi 6, you can expect other industry leaders to recognize the benefits of the latest WiFi technology and launch products with WiFi 6.11.5-chp-inline7.png

 

Myth #2: Most devices will not work with WiFi 6 routers

WiFi 6 routers are 100% backwards compatible with WiFi 5 and older WiFi devices. While you may not get to experience WiFi 6 from day one, you can make sure that your network is ready for new devices with WiFi 6 sooner than later.

 

Myth #3: WiFi 6 is blazing fast, but only if you have 50+ devices connected

Like-to-like, WiFi 6 increases the speed for even one device by 40% as compared to WiFi 5. If you get one of the newer laptop built-with Intel’s Gig+ technology, you can instantly double the speeds when matched with right WiFi 6 router.

large-11.5-chp-inline8.pngMyth #4: There are no advantages of upgrading my router to WiFi 6 right away.
If your current router is fairly new, isn’t giving you any issues, and you are happy with it, then it’s certainly best to keep it for now and upgrade when the time is right. If you haven’t upgraded your router in a while, your WiFi is slowing to a crawl, and you keep adding more connected devices, then you may consider a WiFi 6 router to help future proof your home. Either way, our Nighthawk WiFi 6 routers do have added benefits over your average AC1200 router.

 

  • WiFi 6 routers have a faster CPU, so you may see additional speed benefits if you’re on a Gigabit internet plan
  • The Nighthawk AX12 & Tri-Band AX12 offer up to 12-streams, providing improved overall reliability and speed
  • The Nighthawk AX12 has a 5G Ethernet port and Nighthawk Tri-Band AX12 has a 2.5G Ethernet port for faster wired networking

    11.5-chp-inline9.png

Still have questions? Check out our WiFi Frequently Asked Questions.

 

To learn more about NETGEAR’s WiFi 6 offerings, please visit: https://www.netgear.com/landings/wifi6/

Message 1 of 16
sgkrewe
Aspirant

Re: WiFi 6 ISN'T a Big Deal...Or Is It?!

Message 2 of 16
mayeen12
Star

Re: WiFi 6 ISN'T a Big Deal...Or Is It?!

NETGEAR can't even SUPPORT 1 GIG WAN connection, WHAT IS THE POINT OF AX SPEED?

Message 3 of 16
Bubbabear64
Initiate

Re: WiFi 6 ISN'T a Big Deal...Or Is It?!

I had to turn AX off just to get the router to work in the house.  Right now there aren't any devices at home that have AX capability.  What would impact the RAX 35 router from working if the AX had to be turned off?

Tim Babcock
Message 4 of 16
ndrblur
Aspirant

Re: WiFi 6 ISN'T a Big Deal...Or Is It?!

I have two RAX40 wifi ax and the one RAX40 that is in AP mode gets slower speed then the one setup as a router, this is an issue.

Model: RAX40|Nighthawk AX4 4-Stream WiFi Router
Message 5 of 16
magicsany
Tutor

Re: WiFi 6 ISN'T a Big Deal...Or Is It?!

"The Nighthawk AX12 offer up to 12-streams, providing improved overall reliability and speed" . I have a question how do you quantify improved reliability? Also what router is used a reliability baseline R7000, R7800? Is there any reliability metric available in the router specification? I really want a reliable router. But i found it very difficult to compare routers based on reliability – since there is no data available. It would be nice to see percentage of customers experiencing issues for each model, etc. 

Message 6 of 16
magicsany
Tutor

Re: WiFi 6 ISN'T a Big Deal...Or Is It?!

Netgear Wifi6 routers are more expensive than gaming consols (PS4 Pro), but still have huge external power adapters. It would be nice to have a router with internal powersupply. This would certanly differentiate netgear from other router manufacturers.     

Message 7 of 16
akong
Guide

Re: WiFi 6 ISN'T a Big Deal...Or Is It?!

Myth #2: Most devices will not work with WiFi 6 routers

WiFi 6 routers are 100% backwards compatible with WiFi 5 and older WiFi devices. While you may not get to experience WiFi 6 from day one, you can make sure that your network is ready for new devices with WiFi 6 sooner than later.

 

This is a double edge sword.  Wile most devices will work with WIFI 6 routers, there are still a lot of NICs not able to see the broadcast SSID of a Wifi 6 routers.   If you cannot see the SSID, you cannot connect.   Therefore, Wifi 6 routers are not 100% backwards compatible.

Message 8 of 16
akong
Guide

Re: WiFi 6 ISN'T a Big Deal...Or Is It?!

Myth #1: There aren’t many WiFi 6 devices on the market

WiFi 6 enabled devices are readily available today from laptops on the market using Intel’s 10th-gen chips to the latest and greatest smartphones such as Samsung’s Galaxy S10 & Note 10, and Apple’s iPhone 11. With market movers such as Samsung, Apple, and Intel onboard with WiFi 6, you can expect other industry leaders to recognize the benefits of the latest WiFi technology and launch products with WiFi 6.

 

Response:  This is not a myth.  Currently, it is still a fact that there is not a lot of wifi 6 smart devices for you to take advantage of a wifi 6 router.  Other than the few devices you mentioned, we are not seeing any other wifi 6 smart gadgets to take advantage of a wifi 6 router.  You invest in a wifi 6 router to future proof, not at the moment.

Message 9 of 16
akong
Guide

Re: WiFi 6 ISN'T a Big Deal...Or Is It?!

Myth #3: WiFi 6 is blazing fast, but only if you have 50+ devices connected

Like-to-like, WiFi 6 increases the speed for even one device by 40% as compared to WiFi 5. If you get one of the newer laptop built-with Intel’s Gig+ technology, you can instantly double the speeds when matched with right WiFi 6 router.

 

You will not experience any gains from the technology when using wifi 5 end point devices to connect to wifi 6 routers.  Perhaps wifi 6 end point devices will reap the true benefit to WIFI 6 being "blazing fast."   In any case, I agree that this has nothing to do with 50+ devices even though wifi 6 will support more wifi 6 connections (and yes 50+) in the future.

Message 10 of 16
itsmehuey
Luminary

Re: WiFi 6 ISN'T a Big Deal...Or Is It?!

The only big deal about wifi 6 and Netgear’s range of RAX routers is that they don’t work as they should and people are making a big deal about the buggy firmware for them and not getting any support from Netgear
Message 11 of 16
ndrblur
Aspirant

Re: WiFi 6 ISN'T a Big Deal...Or Is It?!

UPDATE: rewired my 2nd AP run and this time I didn’t use a biscuit jack, I connected the LAN cable directly to the RAX40 AP now I am getting my full speed!
Model: RAX40|Nighthawk AX4 4-Stream WiFi Router
Message 12 of 16
Tofu-Golem
Apprentice

Re: WiFi 6 ISN'T a Big Deal...Or Is It?!


@mayeen12 wrote:

NETGEAR can't even SUPPORT 1 GIG WAN connection, WHAT IS THE POINT OF AX SPEED?


The point of WiFi 6 is not the increase in throughput, it's the increase in the number of devices the router can juggle provided all client devices are using WiFi 6.

And to be fair, most 1000bT ethernet devices don't hit the maximum. Or are you referring to something else?

Model: RAX120|Nighthawk AX12 12-Stream WiFi Router
Message 13 of 16
Tofu-Golem
Apprentice

Re: WiFi 6 ISN'T a Big Deal...Or Is It?!


@Bubbabear64 wrote:

I had to turn AX off just to get the router to work in the house.  Right now there aren't any devices at home that have AX capability.  What would impact the RAX 35 router from working if the AX had to be turned off?


My Samsung devices had a terrible time connecting via WiFi 6 until I turned WPA3 off.

I originally had WPA2/WPA3 and WPA3, and my mobile devices couldn't connect, kept dropping, and when they actually connected, I only got a pathetic 54 mbps. Setting the router to WPA2 (only) fixed the problem.

I'm not sure if the problem is with Netgear or with Samsung, but it's a bummer that I can't use the newer security standard since that was part of the reason I wanted a WiFi 6 router in the first place.

Model: RAX120|Nighthawk AX12 12-Stream WiFi Router
Message 14 of 16
SeaRefractor
Apprentice

Re: WiFi 6 ISN'T a Big Deal...Or Is It?!

For what was promised out of the box, my RBK753 Orbi system has delivered.   As to why I purchased the AX4200 product line of WiFi 6 mesh, I've seen the details on WiFi 6E and would rather save my money for that as an upgrade at some point.    For more details as to what WiFi 6E is, see the PDF you can download from the WiFi Alliance here https://www.wi-fi.org/download.php?file=/sites/default/files/private/Wi-Fi_6E_Highlights_202101.pdf

 

While WiFi 6E is not a replacement to WiFi 6, it's certainly an enhancement.     Also to have that much of a change (whole new frequency range) added before there's a significant amount of WiFi 6 devices does make me feel that it was held back to try and artificially encourage a short upgrade cycle.

 

In any event, I'm glad I didn't drop too much on an AX6000 (over $1000 for RBK853) solution only to have an AX11000 product line already being released by the competition.

 

At least it'll be much more fully baked before the next Orbi environment is released for the WiFi 6E, so I'll be more confident at that point once released.

Adtran ONT ---> Orbi RBR750 -> 940Mbps up/down
Message 15 of 16
Tofu-Golem
Apprentice

Re: WiFi 6 ISN'T a Big Deal...Or Is It?!


@SeaRefractor wrote:

For what was promised out of the box, my RBK753 Orbi system has delivered.   As to why I purchased the AX4200 product line of WiFi 6 mesh, I've seen the details on WiFi 6E and would rather save my money for that as an upgrade at some point.    For more details as to what WiFi 6E is, see the PDF you can download from the WiFi Alliance here https://www.wi-fi.org/download.php?file=/sites/default/files/private/Wi-Fi_6E_Highlights_202101.pdf

 

While WiFi 6E is not a replacement to WiFi 6, it's certainly an enhancement.     Also to have that much of a change (whole new frequency range) added before there's a significant amount of WiFi 6 devices does make me feel that it was held back to try and artificially encourage a short upgrade cycle.

 

In any event, I'm glad I didn't drop too much on an AX6000 (over $1000 for RBK853) solution only to have an AX11000 product line already being released by the competition.

 

At least it'll be much more fully baked before the next Orbi environment is released for the WiFi 6E, so I'll be more confident at that point once released.


Agreed.

There are few client devices that can even use the new 6 GHz band, and even if you have such a device, the 6 GHz band is going to be even worse at penetrating physical obstructions like floors and walls than the 5 GHz band.

Right now, the best use of that new 6 GHz band is as a dedicated backhaul for mesh systems designed to use it.

Message 16 of 16
Discussion stats
  • 15 replies
  • 22664 views
  • 6 kudos
  • 10 in conversation
Announcements

Orbi WiFi 6E