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5G and Wi-Fi 6 – Let’s Cut Through The Noise

5G this and Wi-Fi 6 that! Are they the same? Which one is which? Why do we need them? Well…


Let’s face it, not everyone knows everything about mobile and wireless technologies and not everyone needs to. But, wouldn’t it be nice if someone gave you a brief insight into some of the basics, so the next time ‘5G connectivity’ or ‘Wi-Fi 6 is the future’ comes up at a dinner party, you can at least hold your own in the conversation?

Look no further, below we’ll cut through the noise and get you up to “speed” in no time with the latest and greatest in mobile and wireless technologies.


5G in a nutshell

Let’s start with the basics - 5G stands for Fifth Generation. The fifth generation of cellular (also known as ‘mobile’) technology, and is specifically engineered to vastly increase the performance of mobile Internet connectivity, boasting up to 10Gbps (Gigabits-per-second) speeds.

To put that into some context - 5G’s predecessor, 4G, barely reached 0.3Gbps when at its best. And as for downloading your favorite movies? Well, you can consider that done in under 10 seconds… start to finish. Whereas lowly old 4G technology, while still good, can barely do this in under 10 minutes! Now you can start to see how fast this 5G connectivity really is.

What’s more, 5G doesn’t just improve speed, it also improves latency and capacity, which opens up a whole new world of use cases for mobile data, from Augmented Reality to car networking and smart homes.


Wi-Fi 6 in a nutshell

Wi-Fi 6 is the sixth generation of Wi-Fi, also known as 802.11ax and it provides more speed, lower latency, and increased device density in areas, usually indoors and of closer range.

Why do we need Wi-Fi 6? Because our crowded Wi-Fi networks are reaching the limits of their potential. Prevailing Wi-Fi standards simply aren't built to support “noisy” Wi-Fi environments with countless personal devices and smart home gadgets running simultaneously 24/7. Wi-Fi 6 is perfect for crowded Wi-Fi networks with lots of connected devices all battling for bandwidth, from family homes to packed sports stadiums. 


What’s the difference?

5G and Wi-Fi 6 are both the latest versions of their respective technologies. One, 5G, being a mobile technology, the other, Wi-Fi 6, a wireless technology. Basically, when you are out and about – you experience 5G connectivity on your mobile device, while inside the home or in most public areas like restaurants and malls, etc. – Wi-Fi 6.

As far as indoor coverage goes – 5G networks use higher frequency millimeter waves which cannot penetrate through the walls of a home very well, making it difficult to receive a signal inside. Also, in order to function properly there’s a need for many base stations to cover the desired area, and with increased environmental awareness, getting permission for this in residential areas can prove difficult for operators.

As more and more places become filled with connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices, traffic needs are spiking fast. Considering the fact that 5G usage is charged by volume, the more Internet that is consumed, the higher the cost will be, and therefore, for the average family, it is more cost-effective to use Wi-Fi.


Do they play nice together?

Yes, very much so. While the differences in technologies may seem apparent, it’s not a question of either/or, but more so that Wi-Fi 6 will complement 5G and vice-verse.

While 5G connectivity is suitable for open, mobile, and intensive device connections, Wi-Fi 6 is more suitable for home networking and private enterprises.

That said, both complement one another greatly. Companies like D-Link have already begun to roll out production of devices for home and businesses to avail of this co-existence in one device.


How does that work?

Take D-Link’s award winning DWR-2101 5G Wi-Fi 6 Mobile Hotspot, for example, one of the world’s first 5G and Wi-Fi 6 harnessing portable Wi-Fi hotspots. It connects to 5G signals thanks to its compatibility with multiple international 5G networks and then distributes Wi-Fi 6 to up to 16 connected devices at anytime, anywhere. Perfect for the home, the office or even on-the-go. Likewise, the DWR-1020 is an outdoor unit that solves the problem of last mile deployment in areas where fixed wired Internet access is either too costly to install or simply slow and outdated. With 5G in and Wi-Fi 6 out, these devices allow you to experience 5G connection speeds and high-speed Wi-Fi 6 on all your connected devices throughout your home. – it’s the ultimate home network companion.



So, there you have it, the future of broadband connectivity is bright and the relationship of 5G connectivity and Wi-Fi 6 performance is set to bring the quantum leap in speed, capacity, and range you need to handle all your Internet demands.

The development of 5G and Wi-Fi 6 will be on the road of mutual progress, complementation and integration. 

Find out all you need to know about the future of Wi-Fi and take a look at D-Link’s 5G solutions coming soon.

Until next time, stay connected and protected.

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