WiFi-6, also called 802.11ax, is the newest WiFi protocol introduced with new routers that have fast hardware.
New routers that have the new WiFi-6 built-in are now available with many improvements over previous WiFi versions.
Improvements include up to 4X faster data rates, increased capacity, better performance in dense environments, Improved power efficiency, and better latency times.
WPA3, the replacement for WPA2 encryption, is also being introduced giving a much-needed boost to wireless security.
What is WiFi-6 Wireless Protocol?
WiFi-6 is the latest WiFi protocol and the replacement for the older Wireless-AC and Wireless-N protocols.
Originally called 802.11ax, it has been renamed WiFi-6 to give a simpler name in the hopes of making wireless protocols easier to understand.
Older protocols have also been renamed such as WiFi-5 for 802.11AC and WiFi-4 for 802.11N.
Whatever it is called, it is the newest generation of the ever-evolving wireless protocols with better speeds and security than previous versions.
Should You Upgrade Your Router to WiFi-6 Protocol?
If your current WiFi setup is working well for you, there is no need to rush out and get a WiFi-6 router.
802.11AC routers, now called WiFi-5, still work well and may even have a firmware update to get better speeds and security.
In fact, many fast 802.11AC routers had dropped in price and are now a bargain compared to when they were introduced.
For those with an older Wireless-N (802.11n) router, it is likely time to upgrade.
Wireless-N was introduced in 2009, and while at the time a big improvement, it is now very dated except for legacy devices.
New routers are backward compatible, so they will still work with any older devices still being used.
There are many units available, with the ones below our top picks for WiFi-6 routers.
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Our Picks for Best WiFi-6 802.11ax Wireless Routers
- NETGEAR Nighthawk AX5400 WiFi 6 Router (RAX50)
- D-Link WiFi 6 Router AX4800
- NETGEAR Nighthawk AX12 (RAX120)
- ASUS RT-AX88U
- ASUS ROG Rapture
- TP-Link AX6000
- VANIN AX1500
- TP-Link WiFi-6 AX3000
It can handle up to 20 streaming clients with no issues making it ideal in a busy home or small office.
A nice feature is it can create a single SSID for both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz frequencies which works seamlessly.
The RAX50 also works well with older legacy devices and even has VPN options.
The AX4800 is a new WiFi-6 router from D-Link that makes many good routers.
It has a lot of built-in features such as voice control with Alexa and Google Assistant.
The AX4800 is a dual-band router with up to 6 simultaneous streams, which makes it a good unit in a busy WiFi environment.
Netgear is known for its WiFi routers with one WiFi-6 version called the Nighthawk RAX120.
It has all the newest WiFi technology and protocols and, like all Netgear routers, will have good support such as Firmware updates.
The processor is a 2.2GHz Quad-core along with 160MHz channel support that can give Gigabit WiFi speeds.
The unit is shaped with wings and has four antennas built into them.
The back has 4 Ethernet and 1 WAN Ports, 2 USB 3.0 along with a power button.
The Nighthawk RAX120 is also backward compatible, so it will work with older devices.
The ASUS RT-AX88U has WiFi-6 (802.11ax) built-in along with many other features.
It has 4 MU-MIMO antennas along with Beamforming.
ASUS uses WRT Firmware for their routers which give them many nice features such as prioritizing usage for a device over others, or running a VPN router using OpenVPN protocol.
The ASUS ROG Rapture is a bit of overkill for most and is a top-end gaming router built for speed with many extra features.
It will lock in 1 of the 15 5GHz WiFi channels which will only be used for gaming and automatically finding the least congested one to use.
The unit is also a whole home WiFi router built to handle many multiple connections simultaneously without slowing down.
It has eight WiFi antennas which are able to give many devices their own antenna for receiving and transmitting data.
TP-Link also has a WiFi-6 router called the AX6000.
It has a 1.8GHz 64-bit quad-core processor with 2 co-processors and 1GB of RAM.
The VANIN AX1500 is a good entry router that has the new WiFi-6 AX protocols.
It is dual band, has WPA wireless security, and 4 antennas for WiFi.
While not a top-end router it will be good for those needed a basic unit without braking the bank.
It is a good upgrade from older routers for a home with basic internet and WiFi usage that want to update to the new more secure and faster protocols.
The TP-Link WiFi-6 AX3000 router is built for speed in a busy wireless environment
It has 4 external antennas and a dual-core CPU that makes it able to handle many connections at once.
If you are looking for a new router WiFI-6 is currently the best wireless protocols to look for.
The new 802.11ax WiFi-6 protocol has many advantages over previous wireless protocols.
Like all the past versions, each had better speeds and security, making them nice upgrades.
Depending on how busy home or office you have, it may not be necessary to upgrade unless better speed, security, and control are needed.
If you have a WiFi-5 (802.11ac) router waiting for the prices to drop may be a good idea.
For those with the older WiFi-4 (802.11n), router upgrading to a new unit will see a big improvement.
Have you upgraded to WiFi-6? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.