Confused about Wi-Fi 6E? Mike explains it below!—Julian ChokkattuWhat the Heck Is Wi-Fi 6E?You may see news announcements coming out of CES touting a gadget's "Wi-Fi 6E" capability. And you may have also heard of Wi-Fi 6, the new wireless standard . So you might be wondering: what's the difference between Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E?
There's no difference! Wi-Fi 6E is just the branding the consumer tech industry has adopted to indicate that the device in question has all of the chips and radios necessary to give it the latest Wi-Fi 6 capabilities.
Wi-Fi 6E is a new standard for home networking gadgets—routers, security cameras, internet-connected doorbells—that allows these devices to utilize the 6-GHz wireless spectrum. The wireless router you're using right now likely has the ability to use the 2.4-GHz and 5-GHz bands. These new Wi-Fi 6E devices can also access the 6-GHz band, which the FCC recently cleared for consumer use. That extra chunk of wireless band should help make your home network less congested, so traffic can flow more smoothly among all the phones, computers, smart speakers, and streaming boxes currently competing for your poor little router's attention. This new 6-GHz band is also a higher-bandwidth slice of the wireless spectrum, so Wi-Fi 6E devices can send stronger, faster signals that contain more information.
If you're not sure how to find these settings, check the documentation that came with the router, or run a quick web search using your router's make and model.You should be using WPA2 security to guard access to your router, which essentially requires every new device to submit a password to connect.
It's a great development, but don't be confused by the branding. If you see Wi-Fi 6E, it's the wireless boost you've been waiting for. Just know that while older devices can connect to a new Wi-Fi 6E router, only Wi-Fi 6E devices will be able to communicate with it on that newer, faster wireless band. (You saw that part coming, right?) Also, if you already invested in Wi-Fi 6 hardware, you will need to check to see if it meets the Wi-Fi 6E standard now rolling out across the industry.—Michael Calore
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