The Wi-Fi 6 standard was officially launched yesterday, and the Wi-Fi Alliance is issuing the appropriate certifications to companies.
We will soon find a whole class of new Wi-Fi 6 products on sale. What are the peculiarities of this new standard?
Wi-Fi 6 has many arrows on its bow. Capabilities that provide him with a huge advantage over his immediate predecessor, 802.11ac, for friends Wi-Fi 5.
Wi-Fi features 6
A small premise known to most: the Wi-Fi Alliance has marked with progressive numbers (4, 5, 6 and the next) as many levels of technology. If Wi-Fi 4 is 802.11n, Wi-Fi 5 is 802.11ac and so on.
Wi-Fi 6, or 802.11ax is designed to host many more Wi-Fi signals in the same crowded space (a house, an office, a room, a stadium). Its capacity is 4 times that of Wi-Fi 5.
The result is obtained thanks to technology OFDMA (Orthogonal frequency-division multiple access) which divides the signal spectrum to reach multiple users simultaneously. This technology, absent in previous versions, also allows better management by the receiving devices, with lower energy consumption and stronger signal.
Everything changes, especially here
Improvements, yes, but mainly a necessity: to support the gigantic growth of connected devices in our homes. In the early days of Wi-Fi, you could have had a laptop at home, maybe two. Today, a house can house 5 computers (of various sizes and functions), 4 or 5 cell phones, a couple of smart TVs, a voice assistant, some intelligent lights.
And that's just the beginning.
Companies need to build a future in which people, places and objects will be increasingly connected and interconnected, avoiding the risk (today more than concrete) of interference within the same network or between different networks.
Safety? We are not there yet
Another new factor introduced by Wi-Fi 6 is WPA3, an advanced protection system. Like all protection systems, it is short-lived in a dynamic world like this. Yes, WPA3 has just come into the world and they have already punctured it, or at least they know they can do it, as it inherits unresolved weaknesses from the old WPA2.
There are many flaws which allow you to force WPA3 and steal the information it should protect. A general sense of insecurity is derived, perhaps even more than in previous years.
In fact, there has been no real progress on cybersecurity for at least 15 years. Second Sarah Zatko, head of research in the Cyber Independent Testing Lab (CITL), “Nobody really tries. In spite of many heralded improvements, we do not see substantial changes in the products. "
In conclusion, it seems that Wi-Fi 6 defines connection speed and the ability to host more and more devices as a priority, but it does not solve the risks deriving from this great promiscuity. Security appears decidedly of secondary importance.
Devices with Wi-Fi 6
The newborn Wi-Fi 6 already has devices that can support it: Samsung is leading the way in its adoption with its Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy S10. Apple will support it on all three upcoming new iPhones.