Wi-Fi 6 and What It Means for You.

Wi-Fi 6 and What It Means for You.

img-network-iStock-859129550

If you keep up with the latest gadgets, you might have noticed that some of this year's releases of laptops and phones boasted of Wi-Fi 6 compatibility. But what does that really mean? It's the latest version of wireless capability, designed to increase speeds, reliability, and range.

Wi-Fi standards

are established by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers approximately every five years, with the last round in 2014. Amusingly enough, the geeky group only recently began giving its standards layman-friendly names like "Wi-Fi 6." Wi-Fi 6, in some circles, is also known as 802.11ax.

So why should you care?

Only the devices that have been certified compatible can access Wi-Fi 6, which, says Wired, will allow more devices to simultaneously operate on the same Wi-Fi. The result: your device could experience four times the capacity and four times the throughput, or how much data moves from one spot to another. There's also better security.

When is Wi-Fi 6 rolling out?

Most manufacturers aren't expected to fully adopt Wi-Fi 6-compatible equipment until next year, and the ones already out are significantly pricier than current models. But once everyone's on board, get ready -- you'll need new ways to keep your kids off their devices once they figure out everyone in the family can indeed stream at once.