Do You Need A Wi-Fi 6 Router?

Updated: Aug 19, 2021



How much better are Wi-Fi 6 routers over Wi-Fi 5 routers, and do you really need one?


Most of the devices on the market nowadays are already on Wi-Fi 6, like the iPhone 11 phones or the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 series, but if you’re using an older device, there’s no need to worry. Wi-Fi 6 routers are generally backwards compatible so there won’t be any issue with devices that can only use Wi-Fi 5.


Wi-Fi naming conventions were pretty tricky in the past, with 802.11n, 802.11ac and 802.11ax. But now, they’ll be renamed to Wi-Fi 4, Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6 respectively.


A Wi-Fi 6 router can support up to 16 antennas, compared to eight previously. This means eight antennas will be used for receiving and eight will be used for sending. Speed won’t be comprised even when plenty of devices are connected. As more and more people start to adopt smarter homes, the number of devices in each household will increase as well. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development estimates each house will have up to 50 connected devices in 2022.


Wi-Fi 6 routers also come with Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) to better manage wireless traffic. Think of it as a large highway splitting into many smaller lanes so that any accidents or delays in one road won’t affect other lanes.


Connections will also automatically be assigned so that it can maximise the battery life of connected devices. This better management of connection and channels actually increases the range and of course, speeds will be faster. On Wi-Fi 5, users can expect speeds up to 3.5Gbps while on Wi-Fi 6, users can see speeds of up to 9.6Gbps.


The ASUS RT-AX88U was one of the world’s first routers to be Wi-Fi 6 certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance, with claims of 80% better range, 4x network capacity and efficiency as well as 7x better battery life. We put it through a gruelling test to see how fast it can go.


We set up a direct connection to 1Gbps internet with a Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6 router and test with the connected device right next to the router, 5m away and behind a wall, and 10m away behind two walls.


Full test results can be seen in the video, but suffice to say, the iPhone 11 Pro had almost double the download speed when comparing across the Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6 routers.


There’s definitely a noticeable increase in speed as well as less latency and connection drops. We created a Local Area Network over Wi-Fi and transferred a large file between laptops using the Wi-Fi 6 router, with a 10GB file transferring in under 2 minutes. In case you guys didn’t know, a transfer speed of 125MB/s is 1000Mbps! 1 megabyte is equivalent to 8 megabits.


If you’re already spending a lot of money on a high-speed internet connection, it makes sense to have a router that can allow wireless devices to utilise the full speed instead of being throttled. If the ASUS RT-AX88U (S$599) is too expensive, there’s another Wi-Fi 6 router, the ASUS RT-AX56U costs just S$250!


More information about the ASUS RT-AX88U and the ASUS RT-AX56U can be found on the ASUS website.

This content is brought to you in partnership with ASUS Singapore.

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