WiFi 6 vs. Ethernet vs. WiFi 5

WiFi 6 is more and more in talks than it had been before. With its advancement people are claiming that Cable networks will run out soon. But how much better is it? What are the differences? What is the difference between WiFi 5 vs WiFi 6? Is Ethernet better? Let’s cover everything in this quick coverage.

Ethernet has always been better than any sort of WiFi networks. Even the best wifi routers can’t compete ethernet data transfer speeds. Similar is the case with Wifi 6 as well. If you want higher data transfer rates, pick Ethernet over Wifi 6.

But that does not mean WiFi 6 is not having its advantages. If you are someone who does not like to deal with the hassle of cable management, WiFi 6 or WiFi 5 is a much better choice, if you are not having any problem with latency.

Let’s start with the basic difference first:

 Wi-Fi 5 vs Wi-Fi 6

 ParticularsWifi 5
(802.11ac)
Wifi 6
(802.11ax)
Max Data Transfer Rate6.9 Gbps9.6 Gbps
Frequency5 Hz2.4 Hz, 5 Hz
Communication Antenna (MU-MIMO)4 X 48 X 8
Number of Receivers Per Packet (OFDMA)OneMany
Bandwidth (MHz)20, 40, 80+80, 16020, 40, 80+80, 160
Modulation256 QAM1024 QAM
Table showing main differences in Wifi 5 and Wifi 6

Following is a breakdown of those last standards. Note that the old models have been designated with upgraded design schemes, however they are no longer widely used:

Timeline
Image Credits: LinkSys
  • WiFi 6 is used to identify devices that support 802.11ax (was released in 2019)
  • WiFi 5 is used to identify devices that support 802.11ac (was released in 2014)
  • WiFi 4 is used to identify devices that support 802.11n (was released in 2009)
  • WiFi 3 is used to identify devices that support 802.11g (was released in 2003)
  • WiFi 2 is used to identify devices that support 802.11a (was released in 1999)
  • WiFi 1 is used to identify devices that support 802.11b (was released in 1999)

How much fast is WiFi 6 as compared to the WiFi 5?

Considering that WiFi 6 is the updated version of WiFi 5, it’s no surprise that it’s better. It is only a question of just how much did WiFi 6 get.

These are the main features of Wi-Fi 6:

  • Multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO),
  • Data transfer speed,
  • modulation and Orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA).
  • There has been an increase in the max data transfer speed by as much as 2.7 Gbps

The MU-MIMO has risen from 4 to 8 that means there will be much better data transfer speeds because of more accurate division. This can be best suited for testing where there are a large number of WIFI users such as an office.

The modulation has shifted from 256 QAM into 1024 QAM that uses 10 bits as opposed to 8 creating the newer variant (Wifi 6) up to 25% quicker.

OFDMA is the way many users information can one packet grip during transmission. Past generations could just hold 1 user per package leaving unused spaces but using WiFi 6 each space is utilized with numerous user data being moved per packet. This will lower latency and the fluctuations that occur while using internet.

The Wifi 6 is much more secure. WiFi 6 needs to get WPA3 that is the newest secure security available. The battery usage has been tried to reduce in WiFi 6 by using a technology called Target Wake Time (TWT).

How fast is WIFI 6?

Theoretically speaking, a WIFI 6 enabled router can be up to 250% faster than a WIFI 5 router.

WIFI 6 based wifi routers
Some of the routers that support WIFI 6

Wifi Vs Ethernet

How a normal Ethernet Cable looks like
How a normal Ethernet Cable looks like

Speed

In raw speed, wired connection wins if there’s absolutely no bottleneck. Always. WiFi 6 has maximum speed of 1.2 Gbps per flow whereas Ethernet has maximum speed of 100 Gbps.

Latency

Ethernet declines in this section since it doesn’t need to take care of interference from other devices. The relationship is constant for most of the period and does not feature brief span of high latency from time to time which is faced by a lot of users in a WiFi.

Safety

This subject is tricky since it is dependent on what you refer to security. WiFi may be hacked into by some professionals but it isn’t quite as simple to access physically to as an insecure Ethernet cable that’s publicly available to anyone who is using the network.

Convenience

Nothing beats the convenience of a wireless router. You do not need to take care of any hassle of cabling. Simply turn the WiFi in your device and you are set. It is simple and quick!

Conclusion

While WiFi 6 is a significant upgrade, it won’t be of much use to you if you are trying to save money. With the increased capacities, the costs have also risen significantly. If that is the case you should always go for a wired connection or a WiFi 5 router. I hope you enjoyed this article. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Have a Nice Day!

Aayush Bucha Author Image

Aayush is a Tech Expert and you’ll always find him around the latest technology. He has a lot of Certifications. While working with passion is his mantra, he still can’t live without laughter and giggles. You will find him sipping tea most of the times when you visit our office!

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