Perhaps one of the most important pieces of hardware in any office is the wireless router. Without it, a business is left unconnected from their clients, vendors, and each other.
Wireless routers are typically one of those parts of an IT infrastructure that aren’t thought of often, unless something goes wrong and people can’t get online. And for the last several years, there hasn’t really been much change in how they work… until now.
Small business Wi-Fi has just received a major upgrade with the release of Wi-Fi 6 and its new security protocol WPA3. The new standard (802.11ax) was just made available in September of 2019, and since then, new Wi-Fi 6 routers have been coming on the market by multiple manufacturers.
Some of the key performance enhancements are in the areas of:
- Multi-device handling
Wi-Fi 6 promises to provide a significant improvement to the way businesses use the internet throughout their office as well as for Wi-Fi security while on the road when using public hot spots.
Improvements You Can Expect When Upgrading to Wi-Fi 6
Anything that can speed up connections, reduce the time to takes to work in cloud programs, and help keep hackers out of your network, means a significant boost in productivity and reduction of risk.
It’s been about 5 years since Wi-Fi 5 came out and 15 years since the WPA2 security protocol was released, so this double benefit of performance and security has been long awaited.
Expect Wi-Fi 6 to be rolled out by organisations throughout 2020, including places like airports and other public areas that offer free Wi-Fi.
For your own company, upgrading sooner rather than later gives you the chance to benefit right away from the following business-boosting advantages of this new wireless connection standard.
Wi-Fi 6 improves speeds over its predecessor by 37%, offering faster internet for all connected devices.
Two factors that improve speed are:
- Increasing bandwidth: Wi-Fi 6 has more bandwidth for traffic, which is like expanding a two-lane highway to six lanes to allow more cars through.
- Carrying More Data Packets: The standard also can carry more data packets, delivering data faster. This is like increasing the size of your delivery truck, so you could take more packages in a single trip.
Better Multi-Device Handling
Wireless routers are being asked to provide a connection for more devices than ever before. In addition to computer workstations, there are now smartphones, tablets, wearables, and smart IoT devices all vying for the same internet connection.
Wi-Fi 6 added features, such as OFDMA and better use of MU-MIMO, to improve multiple device handling. It allows streams to be divided so that each device has its own data stream and also allows for data to be both sent and received simultaneously from the router to each connected device (they used to have to wait until another device was finished).
This means no more delays when multiple devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi and much better capacity to handle all those new smart gadgets.
Greatly Improved Security
The security update that WPA3 brings to Wi-Fi 6 is one of the most significant benefits for businesses. It’s now much more difficult for a hacker to run an offline cracking program to try to gain entry into a network.
Use of what’s known as a “dragonfly handshake” requires authentication for each connection, making Wi-Fi 6 routers resistant to active and passive attacks.
Sessions are also encrypted, so users can connect more securely to a free public Wi-Fi without worrying about a hacker being able to spy on their traffic.
For companies with particularly sensitive information, such as those do work for the government, WPA3-Enterprise offers the option of using a minimum 192-bit security protocols and cryptographic tools for a higher level of protection.
Improved Device Battery Life
Another benefit that you’re going to see across laptops, mobile devices, and other connected IoT devices is longer battery life.
Normally, a device has to check in with a router continuously, which drains the battery. With Wi-Fi 6 a technology called Target Wake Time (TWT) allows devices to preschedule check-in times, which significantly reduces battery drain.
If you have problems with weak signals in areas of your office that are farther away from your router, an upgrade to a Wi-Fi 6 router may be the solution for you.
Wi-Fi 6 has increased range by up to 50% and can help eliminate wireless “dead zones” giving your more freedom to organise your office the way you want.
Get Help Upgrading to a Wi-Fi 6 Router
Connected Platforms offers affordable managed Wi-Fi solutions for small businesses. We can help you choose the best Wi-Fi 6 router for your needs, install as many wireless access points as you require and ensure you have a reliable speed throughout your office.
Contact us today to discuss your wireless network needs. Call 1300 866 096 or book a coffee meeting online.