WiFi, WiFi 6 VS WiFi 6e, 2.4GHz VS 5GHz WiFi, WiFi Routers & Modems

(Last Updated On: March 12, 2021)


WiFi is medium that provides us internet WiFi is the technology that helps you access the internet on your hand held device. It does it over-the-air or wirelessly. IEEE or the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers defines the WiFi standard under the family of 802 networking specifications where 802.3 define the Ethernet, 802.15 defines the Bluetooth and 802.11 defines the WiFi networking standards. There are many sub standards as well which defines the frequency band bandwidth and the backward compatibility like ABG and AC and so on. Wi Fi network is built with the help of several hardware components like wireless access points or routers end-user devices like mobile phones tablets laptops etc which are equipped with WiFi adapter. On the other hand the wireless router is connected to the internet wireless physical connection that is the fiber cable or with an analog line which uses a telephone and a modem which is then connected to the wireless router modem or modulator and demodulator is needed for analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog signal conversion. The Wi Fi router then connects to the end devices wire radio waves that establish an end-to-end internet connection. The data received from the internet will be translates into the radio signals by the wireless routers and send it to the connected devices over the wireless network. The same process also happens in Reverse with the astounding increase in the internet traffic. We have seen an amazing growth in the bandwidth and speed available to the end user from 1995 till the end of 2015 the Internet users have grown from 16 million to more than 3000 million. Now that’s a serious growth thanks to the advancement in the wireless connectivity technologies like Wi-Fi.

WiFi 6 VS WiFi 6e:

WiFi 6 is the newest and fastest version of WiFi but this year there are something new called WiFi 6e that promises to take WiFi 6 to a whole new level now what does that mean exactly. I will explain first WiFi 6 is the newest version of the 802.11 Wireless standard that we commonly call WiFi. The last generation was 802.11 AC but the new 6 generation is 802 11 AX. Now that’s not easy enough for consumers to keep track of so the WiFi industry decided to brand the new six gen standard as WiFi 6 simple enough. WiFi 6 is better because it is designed to send data to multiple places at once in a way that’s a lot more efficient than before imagine that your router is a busy bartender and that all the devices on your network are thirsty patrons who are all trying to order drinks at once. Now imagine that the bartender suddenly grows an extra set of arms he is able to make multiple drinks at once and serve multiple customers at the same time it is super impressive.


 The  multitasking which is done through four routers nutshell of WiFi 6 and then there’s speed WiFi devices translate radio waves into chunks of binary code using a trick called quadrature amplitude modulation or qualm for short and WiFi 6 routers are a lot better at it than before. Wi-Fi 5 which used 256 QAM and send data in binary form in form of 8 digits with each transmission. WiFi 6 raises that to 1024 QAM which means that Wi Fi 6 routers can send ten digits of binary at a time. Now that might sound like a small change but it’s a big part of the reason why WiFi 6 can move data around about 30 percent faster than Wi-Fi 5. So faster top speeds and better multitasking that’s what you get with WiFi 6.

WiFi 6e for starters the E and 6 e stands for expanded until now WiFi devices can only operate in the 2.4 and 5 gigahertz bands but an FCC vote changed that and opened up the six gigahertz band. So WiFi 6e devices are the only devices that can operate an all three bands not just the first two the new six gigahertz band is the biggest of all it operates like a major expressway with room for lots and lots of traffic all at once that’s what you get with WiFi 6e with a WiFi 6 router and WiFi 6 devices on your network your home will have the fastest possible version of WiFi and your older generation Wi-Fi devices will still be able to connect just like always because WiFi 6 is totally backwards compatible with previous versions of WiFi. You got lots of devices to choose from at this point including the Samsung Galaxy devices and newest iPhones but if you’re waiting for Wi-Fi 6e. We are not going to see the first routers that support it until the end of 2020 with more devices slated to follow in 2021.

2.4 GHz VS 5 GHz WiFi:

Now we are discussing about 2.4 VS 5 gigahertz on WiFi routers if you’ve been shopping for out or any time. We know that there are dual band routers which work on both frequencies e.g 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz but what is really the difference are their advantages and disadvantages to either one of course the answer is yes but what are those differences because there is not necessarily always a reason to use five gigahertz. Sometimes it is actually better to use 2.4 GHz. First of all 5 gigahertz is faster in general but not exactly further reason you might think most people assume that the 5 gigahertz is a higher frequency that means it can transmit data faster but that’s not exactly the case you see 5 gigahertz or 2.4 GHz. The carrier wave frequencies that’s the general frequency of the wave it’s putting out but the information is not coded or modulated in that frequency about the same way between the two the frequency difference does not mean that one router will carry more information than the other. The real reason 5 gigahertz is faster is because the way it uses different channels and how they’re arranged you see with channels and WiFi to transmit data they use small ranges of frequencies. So obviously the router isn’t using exactly 5 gigahertz for everything. There are different frequency ranges that are possibly to be used in 5 gigahertz. They made it so there’s no overlap between any of the channels which is not the case for 2.4 and also there’s much less crowding of frequencies and transmissions in each of the channels because 5 gigahertz is used less than 2.4. So overall it just opens up more bandwidth that is able to be used on each individual channel of the WiFi and that along with improved protocols for transmitting data such as being able to use multiple streams on different channels just makes 5 gigahertz faster. In general another advantage of 5 gigahertz that I briefly touched on before is Wireless interference the 2.4 gigahertz range is very crowded and used by many other whole devices not just Wi-Fi which takes up a lot of the airspace you’ve got things like cordless phones Bluetooth even car alarm sensors in microwave ovens all of these are in the same 2.4 gigahertz range as Wi-Fi and that just crowds the space and makes it tougher for the signal to get through. All this interference could potentially mean you get packet loss poor signal that sort of thing but with 5 gigahertz very few other devices use it at all in your house so certainly less than 2.4. So that means that you’re going to have a much stronger signal and more availability of each channel and it’s just going to be better in general so now you might be thinking of 5 gigahertz sounds better in every way no reason not to use it ever not exactly a case obviously.

The main disadvantage of 5 gigahertz is it has a significantly shorter range than 2.4 you see in general lower frequency radio waves are better able to pass through walls than higher frequency waves. so if you’re a couple rooms away further away from the router you’re probably going to have a stronger signal with the 2.4 gigahertz probably much more so than 5 gigahertz. So if you have a device that’s really close to the router then yeah it’s probably better to just use 5 gigahertz but if you’re pretty far away 2.4 gigahertz might have a much better signal. However you have to consider that the speed increase of 5 gigahertz might offset that weaker signal in most cases though you’ll probably just want to do a test between the two to figure it out every environment is going to be different for example if you have a ton of 2.4 gigahertz interference then maybe even the 5 gigahertz will go further than 2.4 you don’t really know you’ll also probably want to consider the type of device you’re using if you’re using something that doesn’t really require a lot of speed at all but will more rely on the signal strength then yeah you probably want to use 2.4 gigahertz just. So you can consistently get a better signal now another important thing to note between 2.4 and 5 gigahertz is the type of protocol you’re using if you’re using AC that only uses 5 gigahertz it doesn’t support 2.4 gigahertz of course it’s backwards compatible but if you’re connecting for example a 2.4 gigahertz connection to a AC router then it’s only going to be using n not AC if you want to take advantage of the AC protocol it has to be 5 gigahertz wireless n on the other hand does support both 2.4 and 5 gigahertz. So you just want to be aware that if you have an HD router and you’re only using it for 2.4 gigahertz.

WiFi routers and modems:

There are different types of standards of routers. In every wifi device there is chip of the wifi standard.  Modem is nothing but a very simple device if you have been using the internet for some time and it comes wire let’s say old telephone line connection. what a modem does is nothing but modulates the signal and that’s nothing but it just converts the signal that comes over the telephone line for example for the NES and module and converts it to a digital medium which your computer can understand most probably the modems these days converted to a internet cable that you can directly attach to your computer. So basic job of a modem is to modulate and we modulate the signal and the converted to a wave which your computer can understand and the most common way is to convert it to Ethernet.

Now we will discuss that what a router is and because meaning this is just a modem but these days many of the modems can also do the job of a router. So what is a router a WiFi router? The most popular one where it can also transmit the Internet via Wi Fi and if you notice at the back we have a van port the internet that comes from your modem will go in here and you can also attach multiple computers for example for this router you can attach up to four physical computers and also it has WiFi. So what a router does is it can take that single internet connection that you get here is your router and spread it to multiple computers and you might be asking how does it do this and basically it has something called any 80 network address translator and DHCP server.

If we want internet in our home we need to have a modem. A modem is thing that brings internet to your home or business. A modem establish and maintains a dedicated to your internet connection provider to give you access to the internet. Now the reason why you have modem is because of two different types of signals that are used on a computer and on the internet. A computer only reads digital signal while signals out on the internet are analog. As analog data comes in from the internet the modem demodulates the incoming analog signal into a digital signal so that a computer can understand it and modem can also modulates outgoing signal from a computer into analog signal as it goes out on the internet. This is what we got the word “modem”. The word “modem” means modulator and demodulator which is what exactly a modem does. It modulates outgoing data from a computer and demodulates incoming data from the internet.

Now a router comes in after the modem. Now there are different types of routers there are routers which are used in business and larger organization and there are small routers which are used in homes and small business but they basically do the same thing.


We are going to use the small office router that most of us are familiar with. Now a router is what routes or passes your internet connection to all of your devices in your home or business. It directs it to all of your computer, tablets, phones and so on. So that those devices can access the internet. A typical small office / home office router will have a built in switch with multiple ports. So they you can connect multiple devices using an Ethernet cable connection and it also function as a wireless access point. So that wireless devices such as tablets and laptops can have internet access. Now technically you really do not need a router if you only want one of your devices to access internet. You can just plug that device network cable directly into the modem and then you will be able to access the internet. However like most homes and businesses you are going to have multiple devices that need access to the internet and that is why you would need the router.


There are also different types of modems. Two types of the most common types are cable and DSL modems. So depending upon what type of internet we are going to use we need to use the correct type of modem. Cable modems are connected to your home using a coaxial cable. Cable is typically provided by the same company that provides you with cable television. Such as Comcast which is one of the largest providers in the United States and DSL modems are connected using a typical phone line. DSL provided by the company such as AT&T which is the largest provider in the United states. Now a lot of time your internet service provider when they send you a modem or if you were to buy one at a store. The modem might be a modem router combination so it will be a modem with a built in wireless router in one physical device.


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About the Author: Engr Fahad

My name is Shahzada Fahad and I am an Electrical Engineer. I have been doing Job in UAE as a site engineer in an Electrical Construction Company. Currently, I am running my own YouTube channel "Electronic Clinic", and managing this Website. My Hobbies are * Watching Movies * Music * Martial Arts * Photography * Travelling * Make Sketches and so on...

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