Until now, we were used to dual band modems and routers, capable of taking advantage of different protocols and different data rates on Wi-Fi networks. But in the coming months we will see the massive spread of a new Wi-Fi protocol, capable of bringing wireless transmission speed to a new technological level: Wi-Fi 6, also better known as IEEE 802.11ax (before the simplification of the abbreviations on wireless technologies). If 802.11n became Wi-Fi 4, 802.11ac is Wi-Fi 5, the 802.11ax standard is called Wi-Fi 6.
In this guide we will show you the benefits of Wi-Fi 6 and we will also show you the best modems and routers able to take advantage of this new technology, so as to be ready to connect new smartphones, new Smart TVs and any other device with Wi-Fi 6 support. To connect PCs and notebooks we will also show you the compatible Wi-Fi network adapters with this protocol, so you can immediately take advantage of the new modems or routers.
Il Wi-Fi 6 o IEEE 802.11ax is the direct evolution of Wi-Fi 5, that is what is known as on current modems Wi-Fi to 5 GHz o IEEE 802.11ac.
In addition to the inevitable increase in speed (over 10 Gbps on the higher frequencies still under approval), the real novelty of this network technology concerns the transmission of data, which no longer takes place separately for each device but multiple devices together, using very advanced algorithms and packaging systems.
This allows to significantly halve the data transmission time even from different devices and to increase the speed at which the data travels, thanks to much larger channels than those seen so far (160 MHz against the 40/80 MHz of Wi-Fi 5).
These improvements will allow to concentrate the electromagnetic field only where it is needed, avoiding indefinite radiation and reducing interference with nearby networks or with Wi-Fi 5 networks. The result is therefore not only an improvement in network performance, but also a net energy saving.
The main disadvantage is the same as when already seen on Wi-Fi 5: coverage will be limited to the room where the modem or router is present (due to the 5 GHz frequency), so we will have to use range extenders or WiFi Mesh modules to be able to cover the whole house with this type of technology. A wifi router 6 is therefore useful if you have to connect many devices in a room.
To understand the differences between the various frequencies in use and to compare this new technology with those already present, just read our guide on Differences between 2,4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi networks; which is better?
- More speed. Wi-Fi 6 is about 40% faster than the previous standard Wifi 5, with peaks of up to 2 Gigabits per second which equates to 250 megabytes per second.
- Less network interference even in crowded areas, thus ensuring stable performance unchanged and no slowdown even if we have many devices connected simultaneously.
- Lower energy consumption and no waste.
Netgear RAX40 Nighthawk AX4
The cheapest router with Wi-Fi 6 support is the Netgear RAX40 Nighthawk AX4, which has Wireless Speed up to 3 Gbps, 4 Gibabit Ethernet ports, 1 USB 3.0 port, 2 amplified antennas, Beamforming +, OFDMA, Smart Connect and Amazon Alexa voice commands.
We can view this router from here -> Netgear RAX40 Nighthawk AX4 (200 €).
Another very powerful router with support for Wi-Fi 6 is theASUS RT-AX58U, which features AX3000 Dual-band 3Gbps Wireless support, Aimesh technology, OFDMA and MU-MIMO technology, RangeBoost for gaming and adaptive QoS.
We can view this router from here -> ASUS RT-AX58U Router (204 €).
If we are looking for a router with extremely fast Wi-Fi 6 we can focus on the TP-Link VX220-G2v, which boasts 802.11ax Wi-Fi up to 5952 Mbps, one WAN port for fiber up to 2.5 Gbps, 5 Gigabit LAN ports, 1 USB 3.0 and voice control with Alexa. (pictured is the AX6000 model which costs a little more).
We can view this router from here -> TP-Link Wfi 6 (100 €).
The cheapest router with Wi-Fi 6 that we can buy at the moment is the router ASUS RT-AX56U dual band, con tecnologia Adaptive QoS e AiMesh.
We can view this router from here -> ASUS T-AX56U (125 €).
Netgear RAX120 Nighthawk AX12
The most expensive router we can buy at the moment is the Netgear RAX120 Nighthawk AX12, which boasts a Wireless speed of up to 6 Gbps, 4 Gigabit Ethernet Ports and 1 5 Gbps Ethernet Port, 2 USB 3.0 Ports, WP3 security, Beamforming +, MU-MIMO and Smart Connect.
We can view this router from here -> Netgear RAX120 Nighthawk AX12 (368 €).
In addition to these models, don't forget that you can improve wifi reception at home with a router Wifi Mesh.
This network card connects to a PCI-E x1 slot and offers support for Wi-Fi 6, compatibility with previous Wi-Fi technologies and Bluetooth 5.0 (integrated on the same antenna).
To save money, you can buy the internal wifi 6 card for 30 Euros.
To view other similar devices, please read our guide on how Add 5GHz WiFi for PC, for faster connection.
If we are looking for a good router or modem for fiber optics, we invite you to read our article Best router for fiber: which one to choose.
Best Wi-Fi 6 wireless routers (IEEE 802.11ax), what they are and how they work