Wifi 6 vs Wifi 5 Ghz? How Different Are They? What Should You Choose?

Wifi 6 and Wifi 5 Ghz Explained along with the major differences between them.

Wi-Fi is often used as a short name for wireless networking technology that allows us to connect devices to the Internet wirelessly. But Wi-Fi is not an acronym, it refers to “Wireless Fidelity” and was coined as a tradename by the Wifi Alliance. The IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) is responsible for developing and maintaining WiFi standards. Since they release new standards periodically.

It is challenging to keep up with the constantly changing WiFi standards. The most recent WiFi standard WiFi 6 (802.11ax) was introduced in 2019 with improved speed, capacity, and performance compared to the previous standards. After that WiFi 6e has also arrived on the scene along with the recently announced WiFi 7.

WiFi 5 GHz:

WiFi 5 is known as 802.11ac and it operates only in the 5 GHz frequency band and gives faster data transfer rates. It uses wider channel bandwidths (up to 160 MHz) and multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) technology to transmit data, which enables faster speeds and better coverage.

Advantages of Using WiFi 5:

  • Faster data transfer rates, which can reach up to 3.5 Gbps in ideal conditions.
  • Further developed network limit that permits more gadgets to be associated with the organization without influencing execution.
  • Decreased impedance from different gadgets working in the 2.4 GHz recurrence band.

Disadvantages of using WiFi 5:

  • Limited range compared to 2.4 GHz, which is about 50 feet indoors and 100 feet outdoors.
  • The 5 GHz RF signal has a lower wavelength and hence it can not easily pass through areas with obstacles such as walls and furniture.
  • The 5 GHz routers have Higher power consumption.
  • The 5 GHz routers are more expensive compared to 2.4 Ghz routers.

WiFi 6:

WiFi 6 is known as 802.11ax and it operates on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands and provides even faster data transfer rates and improved network capacity compared to WiFi 5. WiFi 6 features orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA), and multi-user multiple input multiple outputs (MU-MIMO). The target wake time (TWT) transmits data more efficiently, reduces latency, and increases the number of devices that can be connected to the network.

Advantages of using WiFi 6:

  • It provides improved efficiency with the ability to transmit data to multiple devices simultaneously using MU-MIMO technology.
  • It has the ability to divide channels into smaller sub-channels using OFDMA technology, which reduces congestion and allows more devices to connect to the network.
  • It provides higher performance in areas with many devices, such as apartment buildings or office spaces, due to the increased network capacity and reduced latency.
  • It supports WPA3 encryption and enhanced security protocols for enterprise networks.

Disadvantages of using WiFi 6:

  • WiFi 6 is a relatively new standard and is not yet supported by all devices. Older devices that do not support WiFi 6 may not be able to connect to a WiFi 6 network or may experience reduced performance.
  • WiFi 6 routers and devices are very expensive.
  • The network infrastructure might need to be upgraded or replaced to take full advantage of WiFi 6’s capabilities.

Differences between WiFi 5 and WiFi 6:

SpecificationsWiFi 5WiFi 6
Frequency bands:Operates solely on the 5 GHz frequency band.Operates on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.
Speed:Offers maximum speed of up to 3.5 Gbps.Offers maximum speed of up to 10 Gbps
Efficiency:It is less efficient than WiFi 6 as it does not use the latest technology. It is more efficient than WiFi 5, with technology such as OFDMA and MU-MIMO.
Capacity:Supports fewer devices on the network simultaneously.Supports more devices on the network simultaneously.
Latency:It has higher latency compared to WiFi 6. It has lower latency than WiFi 5 as it uses features such as target wake time (TWT) and MU-MIMO.
Security:It does not support the latest encryption standards and enhanced security protocols.It supports the latest encryption standards and enhanced security protocols.

WiFi 6e

Unlike WiFi 6 WiFi 6e gets additional access to the 6 Ghz band. This means that it has an even higher frequency leading to an even higher throughput compared to WiFi 5 and 6 both. The latest generation of most modern tech products is coming with WiFi 6e support. But routers supporting this new wireless standard are too costly and it might take some time before mass penetration of this wireless technology.

We hope you now understand the differences between these wireless standards. In case you have any doubts related to the same feel free to comment down below.

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Sukhdev has a passion for sharing insights and experiences on a wide range of topics from technology to personal development!

Wifi 6 vs Wifi 5 Ghz? How Different Are They? What Should You Choose?

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