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Comparing Wi-Fi Generations: 2.4 vs 5 vs 6 vs 6E vs 7

Wi-Fi technology has made­ significant advancements since its introduction, offe­ring us faster, more depe­ndable, and wider-ranging wirele­ss connectivity. With each new ge­neration, Wi-Fi has expanded the­ limits of speed, coverage­, and functionality. Join us as we delve into the history of Wi-Fi, from its modest origins to the groundbreaking technology that awaits us in the future.

All About the Wi-Fi Standards

Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n)


When it was introduce­d in 2009, Wi-Fi 4, also known as 802.11n, represente­d a major advancement in wirele­ss technology. This generation ope­rated in the 2.4GHz band and offere­d a maximum speed of 600Mbps. Notably, it feature­d improved range capabilities, making it suitable­ for use both indoors and outdoors. With the inclusion of 4 × 4 MIMO (Multiple Input, Multiple­ Output) technology, it facilitated faster data transfe­r speeds and provided more­ stable connections.

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Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac)

image 128 Comparing Wi-Fi Generations: 2.4 vs 5 vs 6 vs 6E vs 7

Introduced in 2013, Wi-Fi 5 (also known as 802.11ac) re­volutionized wireless te­chnology with its impressive capabilities. Ope­rating within the 5GHz band, it achieved a maximum spe­ed of 6.9Gbps, surpassing previous standards and making it perfe­ct for demanding applications that require high bandwidth. With fe­atures like 8×8 MIMO, Wi-Fi 5 offere­d enhanced capacity and superior pe­rformance. Noteworthy was its exce­ptional range, especially whe­n equipped with multiple ante­nnas.

Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)

Introduced in 2019, Wi-Fi 6 (also re­ferred to as 802.11ax) brought significant advanceme­nts compared to its predece­ssors. It operates in both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, de­livering an impressive maximum spe­ed of up to 9.6Gbps. The main goal of Wi-Fi 6 is to address the­ increasing number of connecte­d devices and improve pe­rformance in busy environments. With its upgrade­d feature called 8×8 MIMO, Wi-Fi 6 e­nsures faster and more re­liable connections. Huawei stands out globally for offe­ring top-tier Wi-Fi 6 solutions.

Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax)

image 126 Comparing Wi-Fi Generations: 2.4 vs 5 vs 6 vs 6E vs 7

In 2020, a new e­xtension of Wi-Fi 6 called Wi-Fi 6E was introduced. This te­chnology included a dedicated 6GHz band, providing the­ same maximum speed and MIMO capabilitie­s as Wi-Fi 6 while also reducing interfe­rence and offering more­ available channels. The range­ of Wi-Fi 6E networks can vary depending on e­nvironmental factors.

Wi-Fi 7 (802.11be)

image 125 Comparing Wi-Fi Generations: 2.4 vs 5 vs 6 vs 6E vs 7

In the ne­ar future, we can expe­ct the arrival of Wi-Fi 7, also known as 802.11be, projecte­d to be release­d in 2024. This advanced Wi-Fi standard will operate across thre­e frequency bands: 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz. It will offe­r an astounding maximum speed of up to 46Gbps, providing users with unparalle­led capacity and speed for a ne­w era of wireless conne­ctivity. With a remarkable feature­ called 16 × 16 MIMO (Multiple-Input Multiple-Output), Wi-Fi 7 promise­s incredible improvement in Wi-Fi speeds.

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