With the emergence of new wireless technologies like the WiFi 6, the era of cabled networking is in danger. How better is WiFi 6 compared to Ethernet or is it any better at all? Let’s find out here!
Ethernet is better than WiFi 6 if you want a consistent data transfer rate without external interference. WiFi 6 is better than Ethernet if you don’t have a problem with latency or you do not want to deal with cable management. To find out more, please take a detailed look at the following subtopics.
Raw Specifications – WiFi 5 vs WiFi 6
|Max Data Transfer Rate||6.9 Gbps||9.6 Gbps|
|Frequency||5 Hz||2.4 Hz , 5 Hz|
|Communication Antena(MU-MIMO)||4 X 4||8 X 8|
|Number of Recievers Per Packet (OFDMA)||One||Many|
|Bandwidth(MHz)||20, 40, 80+80, 160||20, 40, 80+80, 160|
|Modulation||256 QAM||1024 QAM|
Since WiFi 6 is the upgraded version of WiFi 5, it is no shock that it is better. It’s just a question of how much better did WiFi 6 get. The standout features of WiFi 6 are the Multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO), data transfer rate, modulation and Orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA). The maximum data transfer rate has gone up by 2.7 Gbps.
The MU-MIMO has increased from 4 to 8 which means more users will get equal data transfer rates due to more streams availability. This feature is optimal in crowded places with many users.
The modulation has changed from 256 QAM to 1024 QAM which uses 10 bits rather than 8 making the newer version 25% faster.
OFDMA is how many users data can a single packet hold during transmission. Previous generations could only hold one user per packet leaving unused spaces but with WiFi 6 every space is used with multiple user data being transferred per packet. This will reduce latency and internet fluctuations.
Other notable features are the security of WiFi 6 which needs to have WPA3 which is the latest most secure security available. The battery consumption of devices will also be lowered with Target Wake Time (TWT).
Types of Ethernet cable
|Max Data Transmission
|CAT 6||1000||250||Unshielded or Sheilded|
|CAT 7||10000||600||Screened Shielded|
WiFi vs Ethernet
In raw speed, wired connection wins if there is no bottleneck. Always. WiFi 6 has max speed of 1.2 Gbps per stream whereas Ethernet has max speed of 100 Gbps.
Ethernet wins in this department because it doesn’t have to deal with interference from other devices. The connection is consistent most of the time and doesn’t feature short period of high latency from time to time like WiFi.
This topic is tricky as it depends on what you refer to as security. WiFi can be hacked into by some professionals but it is not as easy to connect to as an insecure Ethernet cable that is openly available.
Nothing beats the convenience of wireless connection. You don’t have to deal with any hassle of cabling. Just turn on the WiFi on your device and you’re set. It’s easy and fast!
WiFi vs Ethernet For Gaming
Is it better to game on WiFi? Short answer is no. Long answer is Nooooooooooo.
In all seriousness, WiFi does encounter issues like high ping and packet loss occasionally while gaming. A little inconsistency in your ping can result in life and death in a match. If you’re playing competitively, you absolutely must use wired connection if it’s available.
WiFi 6 is a much improved tech over the previous generations but it won’t magically give u less latency. Hook up your PC directly to your modem and find out your best possible latency from ISP and then run it through with your current router to see how much latency you get.
Unless that second number is significantly higher, you have no need to worry and can stick with your current router.
Best WiFi 6 Card For PC
WiFi 6 Routers
In short, WiFi 6 may not be worth it if you’re trying to save some bucks but if you’re going for the top of the line wireless products in your household or in your office, it is an absolute buy!
Co-owner of Xiloop Technologies and Technoloxy.
Tech enthusiast, constantly learning and sharing knowledge.