Consumer Reports: What is Wi-Fi 6?

Consumer Reports

CONSUMER REPORTS — These days, your Wi-Fi might be your family’s connection to the world. But you know it doesn’t always work as well as it should.

As Consumer Reports explains, upgrading to the latest generation of wireless routers could finally fix your Wi-Fi woes.

About a year ago, Wi-Fi 6 routers were kind of hard to find, but nowadays they’re pretty much everywhere.

So, what is Wi-Fi 6? It’s the latest version of the Wi-Fi networking standard. That’s tech jargon, but here’s what you should really care about.

It transfers data faster and handles more data and more devices at the same time better than older Wi-Fi standards. That means faster, more stable connectivity.

And Wi-Fi 6 routers are the first to have built-in support for WPA3, the latest wireless encryption standard, which makes it harder for hackers to access your private data.

You don’t have to worry about compatibility with older devices, because different generations of Wi-Fi are designed to communicate with each other. Because Wi-Fi 6 routers are more efficient, your older devices may see better performance.

If you’re ready to upgrade, consider the Netgear Nighthawk AX1800 for $230 (a two-pack) and $290 (a three-pack.) In Canada, it is $300 for the two-pack and $450 for the three-pack. It’s a Consumer Reports Best Buy. It has automatic firmware updating, and CR said it’s easy to set up and does an excellent job of sending out the Wi-Fi signal.

Because a lot of tech that’s coming is expected to be Wi-Fi 6-certified, upgrading your router now is like future-proofing your home network. And it just might stop your kids from complaining.

If you rent your router, check with your internet service provider to see if it offers a Wi-Fi 6 upgrade. But be sure to ask about the total cost, because it might increase your monthly bill.

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