Is it time to upgrade to Wi-Fi 6?
VANCOUVER -- These days the internet is our main connection to the outside world, but sometimes it doesn’t work as well as it could. 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,” says Nicholas De Leon, a tech editor with Consumer Reports. “But nowadays they’re pretty much everywhere.”
So what is Wi-Fi 6? It’s the latest version of the Wi-Fi networking standard.
“It transfers data faster and it handles more data, more devices at the same time better than older Wi-Fi standards,” de Leon says.
That means fast, 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 also don’t have to worry about compatability with older devices, as 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,” de Leon says.
If you’re ready to upgrade, consider the Netgear Nighthawk AX1800. It costs $300 for a two-pack and $450 for three. It has automatic firmware updating, and Consumer Reports says 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.
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.
With files from Consumer Reports