Wi-Fi 6 What Changes for Businesses


WiFi 6 Compatible Devices
Wi-Fi 6 speed

Wi-Fi 6 Compatible Devices Speed Router 



It was about time. By offering its standards more logical names, the Wi-Fi Alliance has made the specifications for the implementation of wireless LAN, or Wi-Fi, more understandable to the public. Thus, the IEEE 802.11ac protocol announced in January 2014 is called Wi-Fi 5. And the next version, whose IEEE certification is expected for the end of the year, will not be called 802.11ax but Wi-Fi 6. A welcome change, certainly of the order of cosmetics, but that hides a significant technological evolution of the standard: 75 new features and a new hardware (chipsets) for Wi-Fi 6 components to be integrated into computers, routers and peripherals.

How does Wi-Fi 6 help keep interest in Wi-Fi networks alive? The turn of the question for professionals.


What does Wi-Fi 6 bring to continue to drive interest in Wi-Fi networks? Compared to Wi-Fi 5, the 802.11ax standard allows to multiply by four the bandwidth of the network, like the number of simultaneous users, each of which can theoretically have up to 10 Gbit/s. Similarly, for latest generation configurations, latency is reduced from 30 ms to 10 ms via 5G antenna and algorithm technologies.

What to forget about packet loss roaming, show local 8K video, offer 4K HD to video conferencing, or make augmented reality less aggressive as virtual with real-time perception. Wireless coverage is also increased by 20% via the 2.4 Ghz frequency band, which offers better range and passes through obstacles better than the 5 Ghz band. And always an easy deployment without any configuration, to which we add a better management of the battery for a greater autonomy. Wi-Fi 6 has been a success, and the Wi-Fi Alliance is advancing 1 billion chipsets to the standard in 2022. And that’s just the beginning!

WAP 3, Enhanced Wi-Fi Security



However, Wi-Fi shows its weakness, security. To understand this phenomenon, we must go back to the origins, at the beginning of this century. At that time, 802.11 was not yet called Wi-Fi and especially did not have the omnipresence that we know it today. With 802.11i certified by the IEEE in 2004, the wireless network comes to the laptop via PCMCIA cards. Security is introduced in two ways: as a standard, a pre-shared key (PSK) for authentication; and 802.1X/ EAP (Extensible Authentication Protocol) that offloads authentication work on a third-party server.

Problem, and without going into the technical details, an authentication key requires a strong computing power, which the Wi-Fi chipset can not embed. As a result, PSK is very quickly recognized as attack-sensitive, and to simplify, Wi-Fi up to and including version 5 can be assimilated to an open network without strong authentication. Cryptographic authentication is present, but it imposes a user action for the use of too simple passwords. The Wi-Fi network.

WAP 3, Enhanced Wi-Fi Security



However, Wi-Fi shows its weakness, security. To understand this phenomenon, we must go back to the origins, at the beginning of this century. At that time, 802.11 was not yet called Wi-Fi and especially did not have the omnipresence that we know it today. With 802.11i certified by the IEEE in 2004, the wireless network comes to the laptop via PCMCIA cards. Security is introduced in two ways: as a standard, a pre-shared key (PSK) for authentication; and 802.1X/ EAP (Extensible Authentication Protocol) that offloads authentication work on a third-party server.

Problem, and without going into the technical details, an authentication key requires a strong computing power, which the Wi-Fi chipset can not embed. As a result, PSK is very quickly recognized as attack-sensitive, and to simplify, Wi-Fi up to and including version 5 can be assimilated to an open network without strong authentication. Cryptographic authentication is present, but it imposes a user action for the use of too simple passwords. The Wi-Fi network is thus quite easy to hack...

To make up for the shortcomings of WPA2-PSK and deal with the new use cases of Wi-Fi, the 802.11ax standard of Wi-Fi 6 now includes WPA 3, a significant evolution of wireless network security. For the user, WPA 3 does not result in any change in usage or workflow. It’s always easy to connect with Wi-Fi: find the network and click to be connected. On the other hand, for the hacker, the decryption of passwords is made more difficult.

And like CNSA (Commercial National Security Algorithms) – a suite of cryptographic algorithms that offers SHA384 for hashing, NIST’s p384 elliptical curve for key establishment and digital signatures, and AES-GCM-256 for data encryption and authentication – defined by the US National Security Agency (NSA) removes the possibility of bad configuration, data that hackers can seize can no longer be exploited. If the Wi-Fi Alliance certification of a Wi-Fi 6 device certifies that it is WPA 3 embedded, the current devices and routers can also take it into account, optionally.

Wi-Fi 6 and 5G



Wi-Fi 5 had expanded the capabilities of home Wi-Fi, but maintained restrictions that still limit its use in professional and mostly industrial environments. Wi-Fi 6 doubles the connectivity capabilities with its eight enhanced Mu-MIMO (Multi-user Multiple-Input Multiple-Output) antennas; OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access) to split a channel during simultaneous communication with multiple devices; a theoretical maximum throughput of 10 Gb/s; and 2.4 Ghz for better throughput and extended range. The expanded Wi-Fi 6 also strengthens the security of the wireless network, thus opening up to new uses.

And it is with the 5G that the Wi-Fi 6 could take its full dimension. The two networks coexist and complement: for the 5G the outdoor connection; for the Wi-Fi 6 the high density indoor connection. As many experiments have shown, their association that raises the safety of the network will make the difference at home, as well as in high-density public places, and potentially in industry and services.

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