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Standard User NJSS
(member) Wed 15-May-19 09:17:15
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WiFi 6 - formerly 802.11ax

[link to this post]
It is reported that the first WiFi 6 (formerly known as 802.11ax) routers will start shipping soon. I haven't noticed any announcements yet though.

I believe that the existing 802.11ac standard will now be known as WiFi 5 and the 802.11n standard is now to be called WiFi 4.

It is claimed that WiFi 6 will provide faster download speeds than WiFi 5 (10 gigabits per second vs. 7 gigabits per second),

Clearly to take advantage of this one needs a new router; WAPs etc. not inconsiderable expenditure. Hopefully WiFi kit will be backwards compatible with earlier generations.

When buying new kit we will need to be concious of WiFi6 - I'm not going to be an early adopter but am looking to upgrade my router later this year.


Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Wed 15-May-19 09:41:01
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Re: WiFi 6 - formerly 802.11ax

[re: NJSS] [link to this post]
Wi-Fi 6 is just a body adopting a name instead of saying 802.11ax

Devices with the WiFi 6 logo are meant to be certified, which may reduce some of the interoperability issues of previous versions.

In terms of the speeds remember that WiFi quotes are for the signalling speed rather than the actual TCP/IP payload carried, hence why even with 3.5 Gbps 802.11ac we see many with speeds a long way below that.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User NJSS
(member) Wed 15-May-19 09:48:51
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Re: WiFi 6 - formerly 802.11ax

[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
Thanks Mr Saffron.

It's been pointed out to me that there are a number of WiFi6 routers already available including:-

The NETGEAR AX8 (RAX80) Nighthawk 8-Stream AX6000 WiFi Router - c. £295

The Nighthawk AX12 Nighthawk 12-Stream AX6000 WiFi Router - c. £360

The ASUS GT-AX11000 ROG Rapture Dual-Band WiFi 6 Router - c. £415

The ASUS AX6000 Dual Band WiFi 6 (802.11ax) Router - c. £334

User experiences would be of interest. Sadly I don't think WiFi 6 will enhance the speeds I'm getting from my Amplifi WLAN.


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Standard User baby_frogmella
(knowledge is power) Wed 15-May-19 09:55:53
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Re: WiFi 6 - formerly 802.11ax

[re: NJSS] [link to this post]
Considering there's very few wifi 6 clients out there at present, its almost a waste of money buying a wifi 6 router right now. Better to wait for a year or two, by which time the market will have a lot more wifi 6 clients and most of the router bugs will be fixed - at present most 802.11ax routers are buggy as hell. Of course 802.11ax routers support 802.11ac as well, but a top of the range 802.11ac Netgear R7800 can be bought for as low as £130, far cheaper than the latest & greatest 802.11ax routers.

FluidOne FTTPoD 330/30 Mbps
Linksys EA9500v2
Standard User prlzx
(experienced) Thu 16-May-19 21:04:50
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Re: WiFi 6 - formerly 802.11ax

[re: baby_frogmella] [link to this post]
I have to concur especially on the client capability factor.
Currently it's wildly over-hyped especially around the expected reach of 60GHz channels and "chasing the numbers" multi-gigabit headlines.

Having a clear numbering to understand which items support the latest standards is potentially helpful but it doesn't replace the 802.11 standards, just an alternative way of promoting them.
In some ways it may be clearer than the confusion caused by the marketing of SATA nnn, and USB n.m since version 3.

It won't make an 802.11ac, n or earlier client any faster, and it won't magically clean up the Wi-Fi spectrum either.

You will still find

- devices being preset to the widest possible channels (even in congested urban settings)

- maximum allowed power (even when multiple APs with lower TX power would work better and have resilience)

- "chasing the numbers" guides rather than what actually performs most reliably over the long term

- articles saying "Wi-Fi so fast nothing needs to be wired in to a LAN anymore"
even when something is right next to a router or switch (this fallacy has been around since 802.11b)

And I say this as a professional networking tech who advocates treating Wi-Fi and Wired both as first-class citizens and making sure both work intuitively for service users rather than one or other being an afterthought.

What we really need is:

- more worldwide spectrum expanding channels in the 2.4GHz band and

- the possibility to bond multiple bands seamlessly without needing to roam between 60 / 5 / 2.4 as the signal drops off with distance or obstacles and

- client timeslots for multiple access controlled by APs
(the original CSMA works surprisingly better than you would expect but capacity still drops off after about 33 clients per band, and we stopped using ethernet hubs for good reasons which still apply)

- new client adaptors that support this while maintaining backwards compatibly

Some of this is coming but we might finally have to sunset 802.11a and b to overhaul things properly.

prlzx on iDNET: VDSL / 21CN at ~40Mbps / 10Mbps
with IP4/6 (no v6? - not true Internet)

Edited by prlzx (Thu 16-May-19 21:14:17)

Standard User zyborg47
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Fri 17-May-19 17:53:08
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Re: WiFi 6 - formerly 802.11ax

[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
To be honest i get better results with 2.4Ghz 802.11n than with 5Ghz what ever my router use, i think it is 802.11ac, in fact I disabled 5Ghz as my phone keeps trying to connect to it and then drop the signal if i am in the kitchen, strange since the router is in my living room.

I disabled 5Ghz on a mates BT home hub as it caused problems with his Apple phone and EE wi-fi calling. 2.4Ghz will connect to his phone as soon as he got out of his car, 5Ghz don't.

so all this new Wi-fi, what ever they want to call them, may not be as good as the old one, sound about right, look at 5G compared to 4G/3G, may be faster, but the range is rubbish


Desktop machine Ryzen powered and back to windows 8.1, laptop by Linux

Plusnet FTTC
Standard User ukhardy07
(knowledge is power) Fri 17-May-19 19:33:37
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Re: WiFi 6 - formerly 802.11ax

[re: zyborg47] [link to this post]
2.4GHz is a huge problem in large cities such as London, in the blocks of flats such as mine you struggle to get 5Mbps on 2.4GHz during evenings, and go through into another room you have full bars on an iPhone but sub 0.5Mbps throughput on all channels (1, 6 and 11). For congested areas 5GHz is a total life saver as it results in actual usable WiFi when closer to the AP.

On my 2.4GHz TV, one wall from the AP, with RSSI of -55, I am often stuck at 240 and 360P quality until post midnight.

EDIT: I've moved 3 times in 5 years, and this situation has always cropped up sometimes. In my old flat it was more intermittent, here it's constant every evening.

WiFi calling works fine on the sagemcom BT SmartHub roaming 5GHz to 2.4GHz and vice versa, on the Arcadyan version it drops. This is likely a bug in the Arcadyan model as in theory it should work fine.

Edited by ukhardy07 (Fri 17-May-19 19:37:42)

Standard User Taras
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Fri 31-May-19 22:53:01
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Re: WiFi 6 - formerly 802.11ax

[re: ukhardy07] [link to this post]
In terms of clients. Intel has a new ax capable m.2 card (and their variants). Also many of the new x570 motherboards have the same intel wireless card in them. Intel based mobos will follow.

I'm actually surprised at the faster adoption of ax to ac. The only problem is the utlra pricey routers. Plus the above mobos i've mentioned (x570 mobos) are supporting pcie 4.0 so 10Gb Ethernet cards are now more or less standard..

I think hand on heart i'd rather spend 300 quid on a 8 port 10Ge switch than the ax router.
Standard User PhilipD
(experienced) Sat 01-Jun-19 10:07:26
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Re: WiFi 6 - formerly 802.11ax

[re: zyborg47] [link to this post]

The best thing with 5GHz is to make sure it has it's own SSID, that way you can decide which devices connect to it. Devices choosing between 5G and 2.4G themselves can be problematic.

With 5GHz there are also channels that can only be used indoors and not supported by mobile devices, so this can often cause some issues.

With 5GHz placement of the access point is more critical than 2.4GHz, but get 5GHz in a high vantage point and it will pretty much cover a typical domestic house. We had little joy with 5GHz until we moved to using a ceiling mounted access point on the first floor landing. Once that was up in a high vantage point 5GHz is usable throughout the house. We connect all non mobile devices to 5GHz, so smart speakers, TV etc, and keep 2.4GHz for mobiles and tablets that will more often be used at the extremes or outside in the garden etc.

Think about all the mobile phone masts and TV transmitters etc, they are always mounted high up, you never see a mobile phone mast 2 feet off the ground on a side table next to a brick wall, yet this is the typical location of most Wi-Fi points.

As for congestion on 2.4GHz, it may help to pick the exact same channel as your neighbours, I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but if they are using the exact same channels both access points can co-operate with each other to improve throughput, at least compared to the reduction that can happen due to adjacent channel interference.


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