You know those days in the office when everyone is there and the WiFi just seems so laggy? As it turns out, even the most advanced WiFi technology up until now could only connect to a few devices at a time, sending and receiving small packets of information before bouncing to the next. Before WiFi5, your router could only connect to one device at a time. Now thanks to wireless devices of all kinds, from cellular phones to tablets to that WiFi coffee maker in the break room and the WiFi security system and cameras, it’s time for an upgrade to something that can handle all those signals.
The History Of WiFi
Long before there were telephones in every home, Nicola Tesla surmised that one day we’d be able to communicate with someone from across the world on a device that would fit in our shirt pockets. Hollywood Actress Hedy Lamarr developed the signal hopping technology that would later be used in WiFi in 1941 as a way to guide torpedoes without detection. Small advances became bigger advances, and eventually the ARPANET was developed in 1969, which allowed multiple computers in a small network to communicate with one another. TCP/IP was developed in 1983, which turned one single network into a ‘network of networks’, and the World Wide Web was born in 1990.
At first one computer in an office with a hard line to the internet seemed to work just fine, but as more operations became computerized it made sense to have multiple computers with multiple connections to the internet. But then all those connections meant wires going everywhere and a lack of mobility for offices — no rearranging your desk to get out of a draft or taking your laptop into the meeting room. WiFi became the preferred connection for many offices, but as more people hopped on the network things got bogged down.
In 1999 many corporate workspaces adopted 802.11A WiFi thanks to its increased speed, but the signal couldn’t pass easily through solid objects. WiFi4 didn’t come around until 2009, and though it was faster it could only connect to one device at a time. WiFi5 could connect to more than one device at a time in 2013, but as more devices were piled on networks speeds were reduced yet again.
The Future Of WiFi Is Here
WiFi6 is built to handle your whole office’s laptops with room left for IoT security systems, coffee makers, printers, and more. It breaks the signal up into six separate networks, each of which can handle larger packets of information from each device it is connecting with. By next year there are projected to be 2.6 times the number of IoT devices as there are today, and upgrading your WiFi router is going to be a matter of productivity for many offices.
Are you ready for the connected future and the WiFi network that will support it? Learn more about the future of WiFi6 from the infographic below.