Updated: Dec 7, 2020
Networking vendors have been talking Wi-Fi 6 for years, but we’re just now at the place where Wi-Fi 6 has to be your best choice for Apple deployments. I know many hospitals, universities, and general business enterprises have held out on supporting Wi-Fi 6 while the Mac and Apple lacked support. We’ve finally hit the ideal time when the Mac is finally seeing the transition to Wi-Fi 6, and the iPad lineup-is almost completely migrated to Wi-Fi 6. While old iPhones hang around for years, we’re now a year into all of the newest iPhones supporting Wi-Fi 6. It’s safe to say that you’ll see a lot more Wi-Fi 6 enabled devices on your network in the next year.
With the release of the M1 Macbook Air, the final parts of the transition to Wi-Fi 6 are beginning for Apple. Today, the iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPhone 11, iPhone 12, M1 MacBook Air, and the M1 MacBook Pro all support Wi-Fi 6. Lacking support is the low-cost iPad, iPad mini, and all of the Intel Macs.
With the Mac and Wi-Fi 6, we’re at the place where the technology is mature enough that it’s come down in price significantly, now as low as Wifi 5. The underlying code powering the access points has matured and eliminated the early bugs as well. Support in client devices is also quite common now. I say all of this to say, now is the time when Wi-Fi 6 SHOULD be the default choice for enterprises, universities, hospitals, and dormitories. If you look at device deployments as a five-year project, Wi-Fi 6 in 2020 is the only proper wireless decision. There is no reason to deploy an 802.11ac network or wait on Wi-Fi 6e. Our new WiFi 6 access points are your future proof network solution for at least the next five years.
Designing Wi-Fi for an environment with potentially hundreds or even thousands of connections is entirely another process. You have to be concerned with co-channel interference, how devices roam, complex security issues, and other complicated issues.
One of the biggest challenges at the moment is designing for capacity. OFDMA is one of the newest pieces of technology in Wi-Fi 6. A 20 MHz channel can be partitioned into as many as nine smaller channels in Wi-Fi 6. Using OFDMA, an access point could simultaneously transmit small frames to nine Wi-Fi 6 enabled clients.
One thing to remember is that Wi-Fi 6 brings back 2.4 GHz support, while 802.11ac was only compatible with 5 GHz. I prefer the 5 GHz band (a minimum of 19 non-overlapping channels vs. 3 for 2.4 GHz); the 2.4 GHz is still popular due to its low cost and battery life and its ability to go much much more distance.
But, be careful, now there are several manufacturers of access points that one of the two frequency radios is NOT upgraded to WIFI 6, only the 5 Gigahertz radio is wifi 6. The 2.4 Gigahertz radio is still the old WIFI 5 Radio!! You should demand that both radios are upgraded, not just one.
Do not get cheated make sure all radios are WIFI 6.
> WiFi 6 can Save Your Money