Choosing The Right One – WiFi 5 vs WiFi 6

Since we are in the digital era, WiFi is now an important part of our daily lives. Without that, we cannot access the internet in unknown locations or remote areas.

It is becoming so popular that different versions of WiFi are being released every few years. So we need to decide, which version of WiFi best suits our needs.

Hence, in this article, we are going to compare WiFi 6 vs WiFi 5 to find out which one we should use more. But before we begin let us discuss about the two WiFi versions.

What Is WiFi 5?


The term WiFi 5 refers to wireless LAN equipment that operates at radio frequency ranges of 5 GHz.


Wireless LAN based on IEEE 802.11 standards is among the communication technologies that are part of the WiFi 5 standard. Additionally, it offers technologies for LAN and personal area network connections as well as device-to-device interaction.

The WiFi-certified label is used by WiFi 5 devices that successfully pass the WiFi Alliance compatibility testing. Numerous video games, personal computers, digital cameras, smartphones, printers, etc. use WiFi 5-compliant and certified devices. When these devices are close to wireless networks that are connected to the internet, they can connect to the network.

Small rooms to expansive regions are covered by access points, also known as hotspots. They are also utilized in cities and universities. They offer either free access to the general public or access to subscribers only if certain conditions are met.

For connections between clients without routers, WiFi devices can also be connected in ad hoc modes. Ad hoc WiFi transmission is the mode of WiFi 5 that enables a direct connection between computers without the use of an access point. The Wi-Fi Alliance also supports WiFi 5 direct specifications for file sharing and media streaming.

The cost of network development and growth is decreased since it enables the deployment of LAN devices. WiFi 5 protected access encryption is safe and gives customers secure passphrases in its most recent iterations. Wi-Fi 5 networks only have a small coverage area.

The typical interior and outdoor ranges for wireless routers are 120 and 300 feet, respectively. The supported ranges change depending on the frequency band. Compared to industry standards, they consume a substantial amount of energy.

What Is WiFi 6?


The WiFi 5 standard is being replaced by WiFi 6, also known as 802.11ax, which is the newest generation of wireless internet technology.


Version numbers ranging from 802.11b to 802.11ac were used to identify WiFi protocols prior to the advent of WiFi 6. However, the WiFi alliance chose to rebrand the older standards with the more recent iteration’s more user-friendly conventions to aid in reducing confusion and identifying device compatibility. Wi-Fi 6 blends licensed radio dependability with high-speed gigabit ethernet connectivity.
The fundamental functionality offered by the WiFi 6 is the same as that of its predecessors, but with major enhancements in capacity, coverage, and speed. WiFi 6 delivers lower latency and more effective data transfer thanks to cutting-edge technologies like orthogonal frequency-division multiple access. To provide a better experience, it also makes use of beamforming, multiple-user, and battery-saving algorithms. WiFi 6 is now ideal for future 5G, iot, and smart home applications thanks to these upgrades.

What Is The Difference Between WiFi 5 and WiFi 6?

Both WiFi 5 and WiFi 6 are a part of the WiFi networking family.
In the terms of generation, WiFi 5 is the fifth-gen and WiFi 6 is the 6th gen in the WiFi system.
WiFi 6 supports all features of WiFi 5 while bringing additional values.
Let’s discuss the five points of difference:

WiFi 5 vs WiFi 6 speed:

The WiFi speed increases with each generation of new WiFi. Hence in the case of WiFi 6, the nominal data rates are increased up to 9.6 Gbps, which is 40% higher than WiFi 5.

Higher Efficiency:

Because of high-efficiency WiFi, 6 works well in crowded networks. Hence they are also known as high-efficiency WiFi.

Improved Battery Life:

WiFi 6 contains a feature called “target wake time” (twt). This feature allows devices to choose, when and how often they wake up to send or receive data. As a result, device sleep time is increased and battery life improves a lot for both mobile and iot devices.

WiFi 5 Vs WiFi 6 Router:

The main purpose of the WiFi 6 is to handle a lot of devices at once with the same router. So you can connect, six or seven devices or more together like, a laptop, smartphone, smart tv, tablet, gaming console, wireless doorbells, security cameras, smart thermostats, and many others. Hence WiFi 6 allows up to 30 users per channel compared to WiFi 5 which allows only a single user per channel.

System Requirements:

For all of the above points given above to be successful, your computer, phones, and other devices should also support WiFi 6. Also to get most of the benefits of WiFi 6 everything in your neighbor’s house should support WiFi 6. Routers work together to optimize performance. While on the other hand the WiFi 5 doesn’t need so many complex requirements.

How To Check If Your Device Supports WiFi 6?

To find out if you’re connected to a Wi-Fi 6 network On the Wi-Fi network screen, under Properties, look at the value next to Protocol. It will say Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) if you’re connected to a Wi-Fi 6 network.

How Can You Upgrade To WiFi 6?

As manufacturers solder on components and seal up chassis, laptops are getting less and less upgradeable. But it doesn’t imply you can’t push through with the update. All laptops and 2-in-1 tablets, with the exception of the surface pro x, tend to still provide some access to the internals. Networking adapters are still frequently found as add-in cards even if parts like ram are soldered onto motherboards.

There’s a strong possibility you’ll be able to see the little m.2 module now driving your device’s WiFi and bluetooth connections if you can open up your laptop (it might require a specialist toolset).

Simply remove the screw that is keeping the WiFi module in place and unhook the antenna cables from your current WiFi module. When you’re ready to install your new WiFi module, simply follow the procedure in reverse.


It was a great debate for WiFi 5 vs WiFi 6. Although we do agree that WiFi 6 is better to some extent, still it is important to note that the benefit of WiFi 6 comes at more price. This is because the better the feature, the more the cost price. Also, WiFi 6 needs more additional requirements than WiFi 5 which can sometimes be a little hectic. So make sure that you carefully measure all the variables listed above before taking your final purchase decision.

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Hitesh Patel
Hitesh Patel is an engineer turned business owner of WPG Consulting. He is a techie enthusiast who believes in finding creative IT solutions to solve consumer problems.

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