If you’re like a lot of small businesses, the number of internet-connected devices depending upon your wireless router has increased significantly over the last decade.
Now we have IoT devices (like smart security cams), tablets, smartphones, and wearables all connecting to office routers that in many cases were originally designed for fewer connections. This means that your Wi-Fi connection may not be as fast or stable as it used to be.
has also taken off, meaning we’re more dependent than ever on a stable and reliable internet connection to keep our offices running.
The good news is that the next generation of Wi-Fi and its new security protocol are about to be released, meaning faster speeds, better multiple device handling, and significantly upgraded security and encryption.
The current router generation is Wi-Fi 5 (802.11.ac) and it came out in 2014. The security protocol it uses is WPA2, which is even older, being initially released in 2004. So, a major upgrade of both the wireless communication standard and the security protocol are definitely due.
The 6thgeneration of Wi-Fi (802.11ax)) along with the new WPA3 security is expected to be available by the end of 2019.
Some router manufacturers like NETGEAR and ASUS have already begun releasing Wi-Fi 6 routers in anticipation of this major update to wireless connectivity. Read on to find out what’s coming with 6th
generation Wi-Fi and why you may want to consider upgrading your wireless router to take advantage of it.
Upgrades You Can Expect from Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
Wi-Fi 6 is expected to improve network efficiency by up to 40%
, and that boost in performance is going to come through in several different ways.
More Streams to Handle More Devices
The current 5th
generation Wi-Fi technology was designed to offer 4 channel streams, not only does Wi-Fi 6 double that, it also uses a technology called Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) that allows each wireless channel to be divided into subchannels, which can carry data dedicated different devices.
Wi-Fi 6 also includes an improvement to the multi-user, multiple input, multiple output interface (MU-MIMO), which allows devices to respond to the wireless access point at the same time, which wasn’t an option with Wi-Fi 5.
Both these technology upgrades mean that a Wi-Fi 6 router will be much better able to handle the demand as more devices are continually connected to it. So, a 6th
generation router will already be positioned to keep up with all those new smart devices.
Significantly Increased Public Wi-Fi Security
The WPA3 security protocol brings with it enhanced public wireless security that means you no longer have to be looking over your shoulder when you’re connected to a public Wi-Fi.
The use of CERTIFIED Enhanced Open™ and Opportunistic Wireless Encryption (OWE) allows for better encryption for users, even when on a hotspot that has a shared password. This automatic encryption puts up a barrier between you and others sharing the same public Wi-Fi, so hackers can no longer spy on your activity.
Other Security Features
Other enhancements include a more robust authentication protocol and increased cryptographic strength for those businesses handling highly sensitive data.
The use of a network interaction protocol known as a Dragonfly handshake stops hackers from copying a network’s cryptographic hash and taking it offline so they can run a password cracking program.
WPA3 security enhancements include:
- Authenticated encryption (256-bit)
- Key establishment and authentication
- Natural password selection
- Forward secrecy (protects data traffic if a password is compromised)
- Optional 192-bit minimum-strength security protocols for extra sensitive data
Faster Data Transfer Speeds
Do you ever wonder why your office internet seems so slow even though you signed up for one of the faster ISP packages? There’s a chance that it could be your router that is slowing you down.
Wi-Fi 6 offers up to 40% higher
data transfer rates than the current 5th
generation standard. It’s able to do this by putting more data into each packet and it also will be able to work on both the 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz bands.
Besides improving speeds at your home or office, you’ll also see improved data speeds when you’re in congested areas, such as airports and hotels.
Improved Device Battery Life
Wi-Fi 6 uses something called Target Wake Time (TWT), which is going to improve the battery life of all connected devices, like smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
TWT allows devices to set key wake and sleep times, rather than needing to continually check in with the router. This causes less drain on the device battery, which can decrease energy consumption in your office, especially as more IoT devices are installed.
Get Help Upgrading Your Network with Unity IT
If you’re excited about the major upgrades coming with Wi-Fi 6, contact us and get on our upgrade schedule today! We can help you choose the best router for your office needs and get your network smoothly upgraded and ready for the new standard in no time.
Book your network assessment online or call us at 559-297-1007.