What is Wi-Fi 6E? – The Ultimate Overview

Wi-Fi 6E is the continuation of Wi-Fi 6. That, unlike any other Wi-Fi standards, supports a 6GHz band. Which is a band that is even faster than the 5GHz band, but unfortunately, has a shorter range. Best for areas with much interference from other home devices or radar signals.
What is Wi-Fi 6E?

As a Network Engineer, I have done the necessary legwork and research to give you the information you need about Wi-Fi 6E. 

That means you’ll be able to make an educated choice when deciding if Wi-Fi 6E is right for you.

To learn what Wi-Fi 6E is, why it’s important, and more, keep reading. Who knows, you might learn something.

Understanding Wi-Fi 6E

The E in Wi-Fi 6E stands for extended, which is precisely what it does. It is an extension of the Wi-Fi 6 standard that makes use of a new frequency band. 

This gives Wi-Fi 6E a distinct advantage over previous Wi-Fi iterations.

Wi-Fi 6E offers amazing wireless speeds, which it accomplishes by using more channels. Not only is Wi-Fi 6E fast, but it also reduces interferences on your network. [1]

Plus, you’ll have more ways to connect your favorite smart devices to your network. As a result, devices that need more bandwidth will have the capacity they need. 

Wi-Fi 6E also means we’ll get true tri-band access points. These devices will support 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz bands. 

With this type of access, we’re sure to see more sophisticated networks using the new standard. 

Wi-Fi 6 vs. Wi-Fi 6E

New and exciting features came to light with the release of Wi-Fi 6. A few of these features included better performance and higher speeds. 

Wi-Fi 6E takes these features and builds on them. For example, adding the 6GHz band means more available channels.

With more channels comes more spectrum for Wi-Fi services. As a result, you’re less likely to experience overlap in crowded spaces like offices, apartments, or coffee shops. 

If 2.4Ghz is a two-lane road and 5GHz is a four-lane highway, 6GHz is an eight-lane superhighway.

Wi-Fi 6E also requires WPA3 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 3). WPA3 is the highest Wi-Fi security certification available today. This feature uses the most recent security protocols. [2]

That means 6GHz networks are much harder to hack. As a result, your Wi-Fi 6E network is more secure than ever before.

Benefits of Wi-Fi 6E

  • Faster
  • More Secure
  • Less interference
  • Better Capacity

The most significant benefit of Wi-Fi 6E is its ability to always deliver high speeds. Faster speeds result from the amount of bandwidth the 6GHz band has to offer Wi-Fi 6E devices. 

These devices have dedicated channels on the 6E spectrum.  However, Wi-Fi 6 devices have to share with legacy Wi-Fi 4 and 5 hardware. [3]

Wi-Fi 6E is also ideal for IoT devices. This is due to its higher capacity, faster speeds, and less network interference. 

That means you can put your smart devices on the same network and not have to worry about congestion or security.

Think of how valuable it will be to a hospital to have a 6GHz band dedicated solely to critical devices. 

Doctors or nurses wouldn’t have to worry about connectivity since less important devices could remain on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks. 

Finally, Wi-Fi 6E would be a huge help to remote workers. Teleconferencing and streaming content for work would have its own dedicated network. 

That means mom and dad don’t have to worry about their meeting buffering when their kid is streaming a movie.

Wi-Fi 6E handles all these situations and more. Healthcare, remote work, and education are just a few examples of use cases for Wi-Fi 6E.

Wi-Fi 6E Drawbacks

  • Few compatible devices
  • Expensive
  • 6GHz band has a short-range

Even though Wi-Fi 6E offers lower latency and faster speeds, there are still drawbacks associated with it. 

For starters, the 6GHz band does not provide the range supported by 2.4GHz and 5GHz spectrums. Along those same lines, it is more susceptible to physical obstructions. [4]

These include items such as trees or walls the come between the router and the device.

Obstructions aren’t the only problem Wi-Fi 6E faces. Currently, the 6GHz spectrum is full of existing users. 

These users include mobile broadcast links for television and point-to-point microwave links. 

As a result, Wi-Fi 6E controls need to be in place to keep access points from causing problems. This enables user permissions.

One other drawback that could potentially impact the adoption of Wi-Fi 6E is cost. 

Routers that support Wi-Fi 6 are more expensive than their Wi-Fi 5 counterparts. As a result, it’s expected that 6E routers will be even more costly. 

However, as with most new tech, those prices will drop as Wi-Fi 6 and 6E become a larger part of our everyday lives.

Should You Upgrade to Wi-Fi 6E?

Unless you’re part of a niche group of people that want gigabit Wi-Fi speed, upgrading to Wi-Fi 6E is probably overkill at this point. 

However, if you haven’t upgraded to Wi-Fi 6 yet, then it might make sense to purchase a router that supports Wi-Fi 6E. Doing so allows your network to keep up with the latest devices.

You can also enjoy the most recent feature upgrades. This includes faster speed, more bandwidth, better security, and more capacity. 

But, bear in mind that it will take time for the market to catch up with any technological leap. [5]

This is especially true as users are holding on to their laptops and smartphones longer than ever before.

Regardless, having a Wi-Fi 6E router means you’ll be ready to handle any challenge thrown at you by internet-connected devices of the future. 

Whether it’s more smart home devices, high-resolution content, or faster Wi-Fi speeds, your home Wi-Fi 6E network can handle it. So bring it on!

Bottom Line

Wi-Fi 6 is the newest Wi-Fi standard. And with that comes the best performance but also high costs. 

Primarily for people who want the best of the best, but not necessary for most. 

But if you want a Wi-Fi 6E router or any other for that matter, check out the best routers for your ISP hub.

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