In this article, we’ll explore Wi-Fi 6E, breaking down its significance and comparing it to Wi-Fi 6. We’ll also discuss which Apple devices currently support it, which ones might in the future, and whether you should consider upgrading to Wi-Fi 6E.
What is Wi-Fi 6E?
Wi-Fi 6E is the latest iteration of Wi-Fi technology, building upon the foundation of Wi-Fi 6. Wi-Fi has become an integral part of our daily lives, used for streaming on smart TVs, gaming consoles, and mobile devices like iPhones. Apple has started incorporating Wi-Fi 6E into some of its products, though not all of them.
Benefits of Wi-Fi 6E Over Wi-Fi 6
Wi-Fi 6E extends the capabilities of Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) by introducing a new band of spectrum: the 6 GHz network. Unlike Wi-Fi 6, which supports 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks, Wi-Fi 6E adds the 6 GHz network, offering larger channels of up to 160 MHz. This additional spectrum is especially beneficial in densely populated areas such as apartment buildings and cities, where interference from other networks and devices is common.
As an Apple user, you might wonder which devices support Wi-Fi 6E. Currently, the following Apple devices are compatible:
- MacBook Pros (16-inch and Sport Team)
- Mac Studio
- Mac mini (latest models)
- iPad Pros (latest models)
Outside of Apple’s ecosystem, some high-end PCs and Android devices also support Wi-Fi 6E. Rumors suggest that upcoming Apple devices, like the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra with the A17 Bionic processor, will likely support Wi-Fi 6E.
Does Wi-Fi 6E Matter for You?
Whether Wi-Fi 6E is essential for you depends on your network environment and usage. Keep in mind that higher frequencies, like the 6 GHz network, have limited coverage compared to 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz networks. Obstacles like walls and ceilings can further restrict the reach of the 6 GHz network, potentially causing your device to fall back to 5 GHz or 2.4 GHz.
Mesh networks can help mitigate these limitations, providing better coverage and speeds if both your router and devices support Wi-Fi 6E. However, it’s important to note that Wi-Fi 6E routers can be expensive.
It’s worth mentioning that Wi-Fi technology is constantly evolving. While Wi-Fi 6E is the latest standard, there are already discussions about Wi-Fi 7, with rumors suggesting that the iPhone 16 will support it. Wi-Fi 7 promises significant speed improvements, making it a potential game-changer.
If you need a router now, consider Wi-Fi 6E if you’re in a crowded area. However, if you can wait a year or so, Wi-Fi 7 might offer a more substantial upgrade. In the meantime, you could opt for an affordable router and plan for a future transition to a robust Wi-Fi 7 home mesh network.
In the ever-evolving world of Wi-Fi technology, Wi-Fi 6E brings improvements over Wi-Fi 6, especially in crowded areas. However, with Wi-Fi 7 on the horizon, you might want to carefully consider your router upgrade strategy based on your current needs and future expectations.
We’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you have Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi 6E, or are you holding out for Wi-Fi 7? Share your opinions in the comments below.
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