WiFi connections have (finally) become faster and more stable. We've talked a lot about it over the past year, and even though we're still in a transition period, we can say it: WiFi 6 has become affordable for everyone. Smartphone manufacturers, router manufacturers, but also telephone providers have now begun to consider the 6 WiFi as the new reference standard and there are many products that, by now, are also able to connect to networks 802.11ax. And yes, this is actually the real name of the protocol used for the new wireless connections which, as a matter of democratization, has been renamed 6 WiFi.
And it is nothing more than the natural evolution of 802.11ac and, on a technical and technological level, it promises to improve performance of the network and the devices connected to it, with a notable increase in connection speeds, but also a decrease in the energy consumption of the connected devices and a consequent increase in the autonomy of smartphones, computers and smartwatches.
But the point is clear. Considering that, at least in Italy, the most widespread type of connection is the typical FTTC with an average speed of 30 megs, the use of the 6 WiFi really improve the quality of the home connection? In a nutshell, we asked ourselves: what would the tangible benefits a hypothetical upgrade to WiFi 6?
In order to be able to give a practical answer to the question, we have armed ourselves with a HONOR Router 3, one of the best value for money WiFi 6 routers currently available in the market which, among other things, in this period of Black Friday you could take home to 49,90 € (with 30 euros discount compared to 79,90 euros). In short, to be able to find an answer to this question, we have done some very practical tests, using one of the best routers "for all budgets" currently on sale. But first things first.
WiFi 6, is it worth changing routers? The real benefits in everyday life
WiFi 6: what are the (theoretical) advantages
We've said it over and over again: WiFi 6 is faster. And without getting too technical, theoretically, the maximum speed that can be reached with the 802.11ax standard is 9600 Mb / s, that is 1.2 GB per second. And it is clearly a figure that goes well with FTTH connections rather than FTTC ones even if, and we will see this shortly, from our tests (carried out with an FTTC connection) we have found in practical terms, that using these new technologies also on slower ADSL networks, it brings with it important benefits especially for some very specific uses, such as gaming on mobile devices.
However, the 6 WiFi it is also designed to solve the problem of crowded networks, allowing not only the connection of many more devices at the same time but guaranteeing bottle-free performance. All thanks to technologies such as the MU-MIMO (multiple-input and multiple-output, improved bandwidth management for each individual device) andOFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access, which reduces latency).
In addition, the new protocol for WiFi networks also promises to improve signal strength and coverage wireless, ensuring a wider diffusion of the wireless network and solving the shadow areas in your home.
And these are just some of the innovations introduced by the 6 WiFi which, on paper, should therefore bring a tangible improvement to wireless connections at home, but also at work.
WiFi 6: what are the REAL advantages
To be able to explain even to the less experienced what they could be the real benefits in everyday life substituting your router for a model compatible with the 6 WiFi, we decided to carry out some very practical tests (and definitely poco techniques), in order to verify in a tangible way what could be the improvements introduced by WiFi 6 for "ordinary people" who, perhaps, are trying in every way to improve the performance of your ADSL, waiting for some saint in heaven to then work the miracle and make a faster connection available, perhaps an FTTH.
In short, to get to the point, we asked ourselves what are the real characteristics of a WiFi connection that influence the user experience in everyday life, and the answer was simple: connection speed, ping e signal strength. The important thing, however, is to be clear that, in order to exploit the 6 WiFi it is not enough to buy a product like the'HONOR Router 3, but devices compatible with this new standard must be used: for example, practically all top-of-the-range smartphones are compatible with the 6 WiFi and in our test we used a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2.
But let's get to us. To measure the real speed of the network connection, we did not use complicated tests or graphs understandable only to the most experts in the sector, but we did something much more practical: we connected a computer via ethernet both to theHONOR Router 3 that to an 802.11ac WiFi system (specifically, a Google WiFi) and we transferred a file of about 2 GB to the smartphone via an FTP server.
Well, already in this case the difference was clear: to transfer a file of 1.5 GB using the WiFi 6 of theHONOR Router 3 it took 37 seconds, with a maximum speed of 41.9 MB / s, while transferring the same file using Google WiFi took 1 minute and 28 seconds, with a maximum speed of 17.1 MB / s. Not bad, as a start.
And then I said to myself: let's assume that I have an FTTC connection available and that I am a passionate player of CoD Mobile, Fortnite or any other multiplayer title for smartphones. Of course, considering the reduced speed of ADSL, I wouldn't have any benefit in download and upload performance, but I could however notice an improvement in one of the most important features when playing online: the Ping. And indeed it was, and we noticed it with a very simple test: by carrying out a simple speed test, always with the same smartphone and towards the same server, with theHONOR Router 6 the Ping improvement was tangible and came in at 1ms in WiFi 6, unlike my old router's 11ms.
Finally, to be able to understand if the WiFi coverage is really better with theHONOR Router 6 we used WiFi Analyzer: it is a simple application with which it is possible to see, with a graph, the power of the different WiFi connections. Of course, in this case the coverage varies according to various factors, such as the obstacles that the WiFi signal must overcome, the type of material of the walls of your home, any interference and so on. But all in all, even in this case using theHONOR WiFi 3 we have achieved a much more uniform and stable coverage.
WiFi 6 routers are no longer very expensive
Devices that support the 6 WiFi have just begun to spread, and if until a few months ago the routers compatible with the new standard 802.11ax were definitely high-end and rather expensive models, products like theHONOR Router 3 they totally changed the situation.
Currently it is possible to take it home to 49,90 € (discounted via the link below), a figure suitable for all budgets for a device that - let's face it - it is not aimed at the most demanding users but at "normal people", who do not want to spend a disproportionate amount to upgrade, but who do not want to give up the tangible benefits of this new technology.
A safer, more performing technology, more attentive to energy optimization and that can, at least as regards ping, improve connection performance of us "mere mortals", who have an FTTC at our disposal.
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