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Wednesday 5 June 2024 | 4 min read

What is 6GHz Wi-Fi and do you need it?

A person sitting on a couch in what looks like their living room. They appear to be a female, and they're wearing a green sweater while holding a phone in their left hand. On the phone, they are video-calling someone, perhaps a doctor.

We get it – it’s hard to keep up with every new bit of tech that is released. But a new concept you may have heard of is 6GHz Wi-Fi (or Wi-Fi 6E).  

The 6GHz channel has already levelled up the Wi-Fi game, but you’ve probably got a few questions if you’re not familiar with it. As always, this is where we come in, so let’s get stuck in! 

The basics of Wi-Fi channels

Before you say it, nope – 6GHz doesn’t mean “6G” mobile, so please hold your horses.  

To understand what 6GHz Wi-Fi is, we'll need to do a quick recap of Wi-Fi channels. In the past, Wi-Fi networks have emitted signal over two primary frequency bands: 2.4GHz and 5GHz. You can picture these channels as being lanes on which internet is transmitted to connected devices via Wi-Fi. Both channels have their own strengths and weaknesses that make them useful for specific situations.  

A table detailing the different traits (speed, coverage, and interference levels) of the 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi channels.

The 2.4GHz channel offers longer signal range, but slower speeds and is prone to more interference. This is because of many devices, like microwaves and garage remotes, also using this frequency and interfering with their signals.  

On the other hand, the 5GHz channel provides faster speeds and less congestion, but the signal range is shorter compared to the 2.4GHz band. In your home, you might have two network IDs in your device settings, with the 5GHz frequency usually called "Your Wi-Fi Name_5G". 

How does 6GHz fit in?

In terms of speed, 6GHz and 5GHz have the same maximum theoretical of 9.6 Gigabits per second (9600 Megabits per second). Of course, in the real world, these speeds will never be reached, but it’s interesting to know.  

What makes Wi-Fi 6E better than its counterparts are the number of channels (yes, there are channels within channels). 6GHz has almost twice as many as 2.4GHz and 5GHz, meaning there’s more room on the frequency spectrum for each connected device to operate in, resulting in less local network congestion and interference. A feature like this is great if you live in a dense environment with neighbouring networks.  

But of course, there is the small matter of coverage. Typically speaking, the higher the frequency, the less effective your Wi-Fi signals will be at penetrating solid objects. This is one of the few drawbacks of 6GHz Wi-Fi, with the range being less than 2.4GHz and 5GHz – something to consider if you’ve got a larger sized home. 

PSA: Have you ever heard of "Wi-Fi 6"? Newsflash: this isn't 6GHz Wi-Fi.

It uses the 2.4 and 5GHz channels, with only Wi-Fi 6E routers using 6GHz. Keep this in mind when looking for a 6GHz router to avoid being bamboozled!

What can 6GHz do for your home internet?

As mentioned earlier, Wi-Fi 6E means your internet speed is less likely to be limited by your router’s capacity, but more by the maximum speed of your plan or connection type. The high maximum speed and wide channels will mean that all your home devices will have room to operate comfortably in. 

6GHz is also great for reducing latency – a crucial part of a smooth online gaming experience. The 6GHz band’s reduced congestion enables this, and even if you’re not a gamer, other activities like video calls and streaming benefit massively.  

When paired with a mesh system, you'll have super-speedy 6GHz across your whole house. Our eero Pro 6E router is Wi-Fi 6E capable, and you can add a few eero devices together to create a mesh network. 

Get the 6E experience

On the hunt for a 6GHz-ready router? Look no further than the eero Pro 6E!

See devices

How can I get 6GHz Wi-Fi? 

To get 6GHz Wi-Fi on your devices, you’ll obviously need a Wi-Fi 6E router. It’s worth noting that some newer router models don't allow you to specifically select the 6GHz frequency. This is because of their network optimisation software, which automatically sorts connected devices into their most suitable channels. 

The other half of the equation, of course, is a device that has Wi-Fi 6E capabilities. As the frequency is still new, chances are that most of your household devices, like TVs, laptops, and gaming consoles, aren’t 6GHz compatible. If you’ve upgraded a device to a new model released in the past couple of years, you may be in luck. 

A photo of a white Wi-Fi router with 4 antennae, sitting on a white desk top. In the background, there is a person in a brown jacket sitting down, with a mug in one hand and a computer mouse in the other. Behind him, there is a window which shows a sunny outside environment.

Do I need 6GHz Wi-Fi? 

While Wi-Fi 6E is an exciting development, there are a few things to ask yourself to see if you need it: 

  • Will my connection type or plan benefit from 6GHz? 

  • Do I have devices that are 6GHz compatible? 

  • Do I have a high number of devices connected?  

Right now, for many Aussies, Wi-Fi 6E may not be a practical upgrade to splash out on, especially if you’re still waiting for a fibre upgrade. However, if you’ve recently upgraded some key gadgets in your house, have a high-speed plan, and are in the market for a new router, why not futureproof your internet?  


Written by

Benjamin Millard

Benjamin Millard

Communications Officer

Benjamin (or Ben) is a Communications Officer at Aussie Broadband. Responsible for the operation of Aussie’s organic social media, Ben also produces editorial blog content, as well as helping with community management. In his spare time, he...

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