If you’re one of the many people who have recently upgraded to a new router, you may be wondering if it’s a Wi-Fi 6 router and whether your devices are compatible with this new wireless technology.
Maybe you weren’t thinking about any of what I just mentioned and just wanted to learn about Wi-Fi 6 technology. No worries, I got that covered too.
But how to tell if you have Wi-Fi 6 technology on that new router of yours? The simple answer…it’s usually written on the device itself. And I’ll address what to look for to know for sure if you have a Wi-Fi 6 router.
A few things to keep in mind before we begin.
First, Wi-Fi 6 is the latest generation of Wi-Fi technology, as of this writing in 2022. Second, it is faster and more efficient than previous generations of Wi-Fi technology. And finally, it’s backward compatible with older devices.
With that in mind, let’s get into discussing Wi-Fi 6 so we can get more familiar with it.
What is Wi-Fi 6?
The successor to Wi-Fi 5, Wi-Fi 6 was created in 2019 as a new wireless standard that could accommodate more connected devices without compromising connectivity speed or quality.
Like all other wireless standards before it, Wi-Fi 6 is the newest standard created by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), a professional association that’s responsible for creating the wireless technology that we all have grown to love and depend on daily.
Also referred to as 802.11ax, Wi-Fi 6, has a new speed of 9.6 Gbps, with is almost 3x faster than that of Wi-Fi 5, which has a maximum speed of 3.5 Gbps. Although impressive, the connection speed wasn’t the main focus of this new wireless standard, “better performance” was.
In my opinion, this was a response to the ever-growing demand for wi-fi connection. Most users today are connecting to the internet wirelessly, and they want a strong signal while being connected, regardless of how many other wireless devices may be requesting that same wireless signal strength.
The Benefits of Wi-Fi 6
A jump from the previous standard, Wi-Fi 5, or 802.11ac, to the new Wi-Fi 6, or 802.11ax, has many benefits that come with it. Here are three benefits of this newer technology:
- Faster speeds: As I mentioned before, Wi-Fi 6 is faster than its predecessor, which makes it one of the key benefits of having this new technology. If you have a lot of devices that are constantly connected to your Wi-Fi network, you’ll notice a significant speed boost in performance with Wi-Fi 6.
- Lower latency: This is another great benefit to have. Most everyone with an internet connection at home is streaming videos or playing video games online. Nothing can spoil that experience more than when that video starts to lag or buffer. You’d rather not want to continue watching after so many interruptions in that video quality. This feature is improved tremendously with Wi-Fi 6.
- Larger Bandwidth: Do you have many devices connecting to your home WiFi network? If so, then you’ll really appreciate upgrading to Wi-Fi 6. The new standard offers greater capacity and efficiency when multiple devices are connected at the same time. That was the premise by which the new standard was created…to handle many connected devices without deteriorating connection quality.
With these new and improved features with a Wi-Fi 6 router, you’ll be loving the new standard in no time. If you are in the market to upgrade to a new router with Wi-Fi 6 technology, here are a few that I would recommend:
- Gaming Router
- Dual Band
- Wi-Fi and Ethernet
- Has 7 ports for Ethernet Connection
Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6E
- Mesh System
- Quad Band
- Wi-Fi and Ethernet
- Best mesh performance on the market
Netgear Nighthawk AX6
- Has an awesome range of coverage
- Dual Band
- Wi-Fi and Ethernet
- Great for gamers
How to Check If You Have Wi-Fi 6?
If you want to know if your device has Wi-Fi 6 technology, there are a few things you can do to find out this information.
The easiest one is to look at the router itself and see if it’s written there. The make and model of the router will be listed, followed by either an 802.11 ac (Wi-Fi 5) or an 802.11 ax (Wi-Fi 6).
Here’s a photo of the router that I use for my office. As you as see, it’s a Netgear Nighthawk router. And it also has AX 6 in the make and model area, which indicates that is a Wi-Fi 6 router.
A second approach can be done from your computer. If you’re trying to determine if your PC is connected to a Wi-Fi 6 network, here are some steps to determine that:
- Using a wireless device, such as a laptop, open the Wireless network from the system tray located on the lower right side of the screen.
- Click on Manage Wi-Fi connections. This should bring up all the Wi-Fi connections that are within range of your laptop.
- Click on the Wi-Fi network that you’re connected to and click properties (in Windows 11, properties in indicated with an “i” for information).
- That will list all the details of that Wi-Fi network. What you’re looking for here, is anything that says 802.11 ax, or simply Wi-Fi 6.
If you’re on a mobile device, such as a phone or an iPad, the device itself will indicate that it is connected to a Wi-Fi 6 device. By looking in the upper right-hand side of the screen, which shows the wireless brackets connection signal, you’ll notice the number 6 next to that.
The number six is an indication that you’re connected to a Wi-Fi 6 network.
You can also check the specifications of your router online to see if it supports the latest standard of Wi-Fi 6. These methods are the simplest and most straightforward ways to determine if you’re using Wi-Fi 6.
As we have discovered in this article, Wi-Fi 6 is the latest technology of Wi-Fi standards. Its benefits range from faster speeds and the ability to accommodate more devices with the deterioration of performance.
The way to tell if you have Wi-Fi 6 technology can be done in a variety of ways, mainly by looking at the make and model of the router to see if it includes 802.11 ax, or simply the letters “ax”. Another simple way is to look at your wireless device, and it’ll tell you what Wi-Fi signal it’s connected to.
You can also check with your device manufacturer on their website. Wi-Fi 6 provides better performance in congested areas and overall, more efficient power use for your devices.