No one can imagine their lives without the internet while living in this technologically advanced world. The Internet has become ‘the most important’ part of our lives that we feel stubborn if it is not available for even 2 minutes. The first commercial public use of the internet is said to be back in the 19th century and it was through email. Since then it did not look back. It was never easy to expand it globally the way we see it now and there are many efforts made to achieve this feat.
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There is still a debate around what led to the development of the internet. It is said that the internet was developed for military commands and to provide control against nuclear threats. The process for its development was started in the late 1960s and early 1970s with the development of the NPL network. In 1983, ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Automation) an American organization implemented TCP/IP, protocols that assist the connection of computer systems to the internet. While in 1989, things became easier with the invention of the World Wide Web (WWW) by the team of Tim Berners-Lee at CERN. In 1991, the public got access to the World Wide Web with a gradual increase in the rate of use. Talking about the 20th century, more than 58% of the global population is active internet user and the numbers will rise at a good pace.
You will be surprised to know that Wi-Fi is not something that took long to come into existence after the internet’s invention. In 1971, ALOHAnet a computer networking system that was developed at the University of Hawaii connected the Hawaiian Island with a wireless packet network. They used Ultra High Frequency (UHF) for their operation. This was the first time when the public was demonstrated to a wireless packet network. Though, most of the credit goes to NCR Corporation & AT&T who invented the precursor to 802.11 in the year 1991. Vic Hayes is referred to as the “Father of Wi-Fi” for his role in the establishment of IEEE 802.11.
Wi-Fi has played a key role in keeping all of us connected wirelessly and this technology has improved at a faster rate. Wi-Fi was first made available for consumers in the year 1997 & in 1999 for home use and since then, there is no looking back. This technology has got better with new technological advancements.
Advancements in Wi-Fi technology
802.11g was the best-known Wi-Fi version in the year 2003 and it was fast as well. Its predecessors were 802.11a (1999) and 802.11b (2000). The goal for this wireless internet technology was to compete with the fastest wired internet connection. The race between wired and wireless internet was always on. Six years later, in 2009, a new version of Wi-Fi came into existence and was named as 802.11n (Wi-Fi 4). No doubt, this was better & faster than the ‘g’ version, thanks to its ‘multiple output & multiple input’ data (MIMOs) attribute. It used multiple antennas to increase efficiency and better communication between users and receivers.
The people were enjoying fast internet access for both leisure and business purposes. Increase in use also led to a hike in the number of connected devices. As most Wi-Fi routers used 2.4 GHz frequency and it was popular as well, the rise in the number of connected devices made the internet slower. Then the need for the use of 5GHz came, which was better than 2.4 GHz frequency.
To solve the problem, companies came with an idea to develop routers that can support both 2.4 and 5 GHz frequencies. These routers have got the ability to simultaneously transmit both the signals for delivering better performance and quick connectivity. Dual-band routers are the most common nowadays and most effective ones as well.
The zeal for the betterment of Wi-Fi was still there and the hard work paid off. The best-known Wi-Fi technology that we use now is 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5), which was introduced in 2012. It was developed to make 5GHz frequency faster and better for the people. As compared to 802.11n, this ‘ac’ version is said to be three times faster with speed of about 1300 Mbps. This was the huge plus of this advancement and is still the best.
“Change is inevitable” and if it’s for good, it should always be encouraged. With the new technological waves that are coming around so often, Wi-Fi technology also has to take a good leap. So, we are opening the doors for the most advanced Wi-Fi technology which is known as Wi-Fi 6 or AX Wi-Fi. If not wrong, we can say that it is an improved and better version of 802.11ac. It is better in all senses, whether it is speed, connectivity, or stability. Let us look in detail what AX Wi-Fi has got for its users.
Wi-Fi 6 (AX Wi-Fi)
It is the next generation Wi-Fi which is known to work way better than its predecessors in congested areas. It provides faster data transfer speeds, for a single client device the rise is as high as 40% when compared to Wi-Fi 5. Even in crowded places, AX Wi-Fi will deliver 4 times better throughput per user with increased network efficiency. It has a lot more for you; let’s take a deep dive into the ocean of its features.
Enhanced battery life
For once, you will be stunned to know that Wi-Fi 6 can save and improve the battery of your device. It has got this unique feature “Target Wake Time” or TWT. With the help of TWT, this technologically advanced wireless internet system can define a time for individual devices about when to access the wireless network. This will depend upon how often the device is turned on or off and for what. It will have a significant effect on conserving the battery of your tablet, smartphone, & laptop.
For VR users and those who love to experience videos in 4K or even 8K quality, this next-gen Wi-Fi is a huge plus. It can attain the speed of up to 9.6 Gbps that will deliver stutter-free VR and 4K movie watching experience. All this is made possible by the use of 1024-QAM and 160 MHz channel for delivering signals with more data & wider channels respectively. The 160 MHz channel width means that the connection will be faster and streaming will be completely buffer-free.
Much more it can handle
As we have discussed above that Wi-Fi 6 has the ability to take a load of four times more devices than its previous version. It is best for use in crowded places with no interruptions. Every user with Wi-Fi 6 will experience excellent speed with greater stability. It also has better support for 2.4 GHz, which makes it ideal for IoT devices.
Opening the world of new wireless possibilities by OFDMA
The use of Orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA) in AX Wi-Fi has made it much more efficient. It has got the ability to deliver data packets to multiple clients simultaneously. As in Wi-Fi 5, this is not the case, one data packet will only be delivered to a single client at one point of time. It works for both uploads and downloads. This OFDMA feature will be a great help for IoT and factory automation applications.
More devices it can connect
Wi-F 6 has been built having 8×8 MU-MIMO, which means it has got 8 streams for its users. Plus, this works for both uploads and downloads whereas MU-MIMO of 802.11ac is only for downloads. Multiple users can connect simultaneously without any hassle and there will be enough bandwidth for all doesn’t matter what users are doing which includes streaming, gaming, or downloading.
No conflicts with other Wi-Fi signals
802.11ax is so technologically advanced that any other signals will be ignored by your router. This means that there will not be any interference with the Wi-Fi signals of your neighbor. It is achieved with the use of Base Service Station (BSS) color which makes your router much more efficient.
It is another excellent feature of this latest Wi-Fi 6 which transmits signals in a straight line to connected users. This is achieved by its beamforming feature which minimizes signal interference from surroundings which in-turn results in better signal strength to each device.
We are living in an era where the advancement of technology cannot be stopped and without the internet we are nothing. With each passing year something new is being developed and the most number of times the innovation is being admired by its users. The same will be the case with this jaw-dropping technology of Wi-Fi 6. It will spread like a storm and will definitely be loved by the users. 802.11ax also has the potential to replace commercial & industrial 802.11ac wireless systems for betterment. So just cross your fingers and wait for the time when it‘ll be in action in a full-fledged way anytime soon.