What Is WiFi 6E and Should I Upgrade to It?

WiFi standards are constantly evolving to keep up with our growing connectivity needs. WiFi 6E is the latest evolutionary step in wireless local-area networks, introducing a number of important improvements to connect more devices at higher speeds.

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What Is Wi-Fi 6E?

WiFi 6E is the marketing term used to refer to the IEEE 802.11ax standard for wireless local-area networks. The WiFi 6E arrived in 2020, just a year after the introduction of WiFi 6, which is also based on the IEEE 802.11ax standard.

Wi-Fi 6 vs. Wi-Fi 6E

The biggest difference between WiFi 6 vs WiFi 6E is that the latter WiFi generation supports three different frequency bands (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6 GHz), whereas the former supports only two (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz).

The support for the 6 GHz band is a huge deal if you live in an area with more WiFi networks than trees. In such areas, wireless interference tends to be a major problem, causing everyone’s speeds to fluctuate unpredictably and making it difficult to achieve even signal coverage.

In the 6 GHz band, there are 59 additional 20 MHz channels and 29 additional 40 MHz channels, and it’s thanks to them that WiFi 6 speeds can greatly exceed WiFi 6 speeds. That’s why WiFi 6E is also known as High Efficiency Wi-Fi.

WiFi 6 WiFi 6E
Introduced 2019 2020
IEEE Standard 802.11ax 802.11ax
Maximum Linkrate (Mbit/s) 600 to 9608 600 to 9608
Supported bands 2.4/5 2.4/5/6

What Are the Advantage of Wi-Fi 6E?

We’ve already touched upon some of the main advantages of WiFi 6E, and now is the time to take a closer look at them:

  • Speed: While both WiFi 6 and WiFi 6E can theoretically achieve the same maximum linkrate, WiFi 6 routers and devices can’t take advantage of the 6 GHz band to avoid interference-related slowdowns. That’s why WiFi 6E almost always wins when it comes to real-world speeds.
  • Coverage: Because WiFi 6E routers and WiFi 6E mesh routers can use three different frequency bands, it’s much easier to achieve great signal coverage even in densely populated urban areas.
  • Reliability: The reliability of any WiFi network goes hand in hand with its speed and coverage. Because WiFi 6E networks are faster than those relying on previous WiFi standards, you're much less likely to see your speeds dip below an acceptable level. Likewise, WiFi 6E networks can cover a larger area with a strong signal, so your connection won’t drop just because you take a few extra steps with your smartphone or laptop in the wrong direction.
  • Security: All WiFi 6E devices support the latest WiFi standard for security, Wi-Fi Protected Access 3 (WPA3). The new WiFi standard is backward compatible with WPA2, and it addresses the security issues posed by weak passwords and public networks.

These advantages make upgrading to WiFi 6E worth the effort and necessary financial investment. Just don’t think that WiFi 6E can solve issues caused by poor router placement or configuration. Yes, the better performance of WiFi 6E devices can make them less apparent, but it won’t make them go away.

To fix them, we recommend you use a WiFi network analyzer tool like NetSpot.

NetSpot WiFi Heatmap

With its help, you can create a detailed coverage map to determine if your router is located in the optimal place, and you can also discover all nearby WiFi networks and see if their configuration doesn’t clash with the configuration your own network.

What Are the Disadvantages of WiFi 6E?

WiFi 6E brings significant improvements over its predecessors, including higher data rates, increased capacity, lower latency, and expanded coverage in the 6 GHz band. However, like any technology, it has its disadvantages. Here are some of the main drawbacks:

  1. Limited Device Compatibility: As of my last update, not all devices support WiFi 6E. Older devices may not be able to connect to WiFi 6E networks, necessitating dual or tri-band routers that also offer 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks for compatibility. This situation will improve as more new devices are manufactured with WiFi 6E support.
  2. Cost: WiFi 6E routers and devices tend to be more expensive than their WiFi 5 (802.11ac) and WiFi 6 (802.11ax) counterparts. The premium pricing reflects the new technology and enhanced features, making initial adoption more costly for consumers and businesses.
  3. Limited 6 GHz Band Availability Worldwide: The availability of the 6 GHz band, crucial for WiFi 6E, varies by country. Regulatory approval is required, and not all countries have opened this spectrum for WiFi use. This limitation affects the global adoption rate and effectiveness of WiFi 6E in delivering its full benefits everywhere.
  4. Potential for Interference in Dense Environments: While the 6 GHz band is less crowded than 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, there's potential for interference in densely populated areas or in environments with many 6 GHz devices. As adoption increases, managing this congestion will be important to maintain the high performance expected of WiFi 6E.
  5. Increased Power Consumption: The advanced features of WiFi 6E, such as higher throughput and capacity, may lead to increased power consumption on devices. This can impact battery life, especially in mobile devices and IoT applications, necessitating more frequent charging or larger batteries.
  6. Indoor Range Limitations: The 6 GHz signals used by WiFi 6E have a shorter range and are less effective at penetrating solid objects like walls and floors compared to 2.4 GHz signals. This could necessitate the use of more access points or mesh systems to ensure comprehensive coverage in larger homes or buildings.

While WiFi 6E presents these disadvantages, its benefits for high-demand environments and future-proofing networks often outweigh the negatives for many users. As the ecosystem matures, costs will likely decrease, and device compatibility will expand, mitigating some of these disadvantages.

WiFi 6E Routers and Mesh Systems

Choosing the best WiFi 6E router or mesh system can be a long and confusing process. To make it easier for you, we’ve put together the following list of our favorite options.

WiFi 6E Routers

The best WiFi 6E routers can reliably cover a large area with a strong signal and connect dozens of client devices at the same time.

  1. ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000
  2. Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500
  3. Linksys MR7500 Hydra Pro 6E

WiFi 6E Mesh Systems

Our favorite WiFi 6E mesh systems are perfect for those who hate switching between multiple networks when moving from one area to the next.

  1. Netgear Orbi RBKE963
  2. TP-Link Deco XE75
  3. eero Pro 6E

Upcoming WiFi Standards to Replace Wi-Fi 6E

Even though the number of devices that support WiFi 6E is still fairly limited, a new WiFi standard is already in development.

The name of the standard that will eventually replace WiFi 6E is — you’ve guessed it — WiFi 7 (or 802.11be Extremely High Throughput).

WiFi 7 is supposed to bring wireless speeds on par with wired speeds, providing a theoretical maximum of 30 Gbps across three supported bands (2.4/5/6).


WiFi 6E is the latest generation of standards for wireless local-area networks, and it offers several important benefits over previous generations. The WiFi 6E routers and mesh systems recommended in this article make it possible to enjoy the superior performance, coverage, and security of WiFi 6E. Just don’t forget that your client devices must support the standard as well.


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WiFi 6E — FAQs

What is WiFi 6E?

WiFi 6E is the marketing term used to refer to the IEEE 802.11ax standard for wireless local-area networks.

Which is better WiFi 6 or WiFi 6E?

WiFi 6E can take advantage of three different frequency bands (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6 GHz), whereas WiFi 6 supports only two (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz). Thanks to the additional band, WiFi 6E performs better than WiFi 6.

How much faster is WiFi 6E than WiFi 6?

Even though WiFi 6 and WiFi 6E can theoretically achieve the same maximum linkrate, WiFi 6E can be up to 25 percent faster in the real-world because it supports the 6 GHz band.

Can WiFi 6 devices use WiFi 6E?

No, devices that support only WiFi 6 can’t use WiFi 6E. At the same time, all WiFi 6E routers and mesh systems are backward compatible with WiFi 6, so they can connect WiFi 6-only clients to the internet just fine.

Are there any WiFi 6E mesh systems?

Yes, there are several WiFi 6E mesh systems, including:

  • Netgear Orbi RBKE963
  • TP-Link Deco XE75
  • eero Pro 6E
Is it worth getting a WiFi 6E router?

If you’re not satisfied with the performance of your WiFi network and have optimized its configuration and coverage using a network analyzer like NetSpot, then a WiFi 6E router might be a great investment.

What is the fastest WiFi 6E router?

Capable of achieving boost speeds of up to 11,000 Mbps, the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000 is one of the fastest WiFi 6E routers currently available.

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Wi-Fi Site Surveys, Analysis, Troubleshooting runs on a MacBook (macOS 10.12+) or any laptop (Windows 7/8/10/11) with a standard 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax wireless network adapter.