How to game with WiFi 6E

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The Benefits of WiFi 6E for Online Gamers
 

It’s estimated that approximately 65% of Americans play video games-that's more than 212 million gamers across the United States. However, as any gaming enthusiast knows, playing on a wireless connection isn't always smooth sailing. Games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Microsoft Flight Simulator all clock in at well over 100 gigabytes in size. Downloading a game like that, especially over WiFi, can take a very long time.

Multiplayer games also rely heavily on the strength and speed of your connection. Take your average Fortnite match, for example. While gameplay may appear seamless, there's actually a lot happening behind the scenes.: Your console constantly has to send and receive information from the game's server and every other player you're interacting with. Any disruption in your connection can cause latency and interference issues, and potentially make gaming sessions less enjoyable.

Enter WiFi 6E, one of the latest advancements in wireless technology. With faster speeds, bigger bandwidth, and less lag, this next-generation WiFi can help gamers unlock the full potential of an immersive gaming experience. Ahead, learn more about the benefits of 6E WiFi and how it can help enhance your online gaming sessions.

 

Why WiFi 6E Matters for Gaming

WiFi 6E Is quite literally a game-changing technology for video game fans. And there are several reasons why gamers stand to benefit from this breakthrough technology. Here are some of the top features that can enhance your gaming experience.

Increased bandwidth: Because it includes the 6GHz band, WiFi 6E offers greater bandwidth than previous WiFi generations. This can make WiFi 6E especially useful for gaming, virtual reality, and high-definition video.

Wider channels: The addition of the 6GHz wireless frequency creates more channels (similar to more lanes on a highway) and wider channels (like wider streets vs. narrow alleys). This can help fix common congestion and connection issues for online gamers, and support a smoother gaming experience.  

Speed: Another advantage of WiFi 6E is its speed. Optimum’s new Extender 6E offers Gig speed capability, so you can enjoy quicker speeds in every corner of your home.

Reduced interference: Only WiFi 6E-equipped devices can access the 6GHz radio band. This can help reduce interference issues for online gamers.

Greater capacity for multiple devices: It’s not uncommon for online gamers to have multiple devices and gaming setups throughout their home, and WiFi 6E offers greater gaming bandwidth than other wireless technologies. Optimum's Extender 6E can power more than 100 devices at once with more than double what WiFi technology has previously allowed.

What does this all mean for your gaming experience? You can expect faster speeds, minimal delays, and enhanced precision and responsiveness. If you're a gamer, you likely already know that split-second maneuvers can mean the difference between victory or defeat in competitive games. The low latency and improved performance of WiFi 6E can give online gamers a competitive edge, especially when playing fast-paced multiplayer games.
 

WiFi 6 vs. 6E for Gaming

As mentioned above, WiFi 6E is an extension of WiFi 6. This means that they generally share the same specs, with one main difference between them: WiFi 6E includes the new 6GHz band and WiFi 6 does not. If you're trying to decide which wireless technology is right for you, there are a few factors to take into account. For starters, WiFi 6 routers cannot access the 6GHz channel, so you'll need to upgrade to a router that supports 6E technology. You'll also need a compatible device (more on that ahead).

Choosing the right wireless network for your gaming needs is a personal choice, but WiFi 6E can offer an elevated gaming experience because of its access to the 6GHz band. 


What Is WiFi 6E?

Before diving into the benefits of 6E WiFi for gaming, let's take a closer look at the technology itself. WiFi 6E is essentially an upgraded variation of WiFi 6 (the "E" in WiFi 6E stands for "extended"). While WiFi 6 includes two radio bands (2.4GHz and 5GHz), WiFi 6E uses three. The addition of a third radio band (6GHz) means that data has more channels to travel through. This allows 6E WiFi to be faster, more efficient, and more reliable than other wireless technologies. Moreover, it reduces the congestion that causes high latency, a common frustration among online gamers.


WiFi 5 vs.  WiFi 6 for Gaming


WiFi 6 and 6E offer two main advantages over WiFi 5. The first is speed. WiFi 5 allows for a maximum speed of 3.5 Gbps per second, while WiFi 6 can reach much higher. Hitting speeds of 5 Gbps and above can be incredible for gaming, especially when downloading large games over WiFi.

The second-and biggest-advantage of WiFi 6 and 6E is stability. WiFi 6 is much better than previous generations at handling multiple devices at once. WiFi 6 uses an upgraded version of MU-MIMO (multiple user, multiple input multiple output) technology, which allows a router to communicate with up to eight devices simultaneously (double that of WiFi 5). This can be a big benefit for multiplayer gaming, where your PC or console is constantly sending and receiving data.

WiFi 6 and 6E also feature a new technology called OFDMA (orthogonal frequency-division multiple access). Put simply, this allows the router to dynamically allocate bandwidth across the network, which means lower latency overall.

 

WiFi 6  and WiFi 6E Gaming Routers


To take advantage of WiFi 6 and WiFi 6E's gaming benefits, you'll need a router that supports the technology. WiFi 6 and 6E are both still pretty young as far as tech goes, so these options may be slightly more limited and expensive when compared to your boilerplate WiFi 5 router. With that said, there are some great options available for gaming.

One router option to consider is Optimum’s new Extender 6E. As Optimum's latest (and fastest) wireless option, Extender 6E is an excellent choice for gamers. It offers the benefits of 6E WiFi technology, including super-fast speeds, bigger bandwidth, less lag, and expanded range for hard-to-reach areas. Plus, WiFi 6E is included with 1 Gig Fiber Internet and includes Optimum’s built-in security and 24/7 professional support, which can come in handy when installing the newest WiFi technology in your home.  

For more help finding the right wireless router for your gaming needs, head to this article: Which Router Should I Buy? 
 

Console Gaming With WiFi 6

The other piece you'll need to game with WiFi 6 and/or 6E is a device that supports it. For WiFi 6 console gaming, the choice is fairly simple. That's because there's currently only one option that supports WiFi 6 gaming: Sony’s PlayStation 5. 

When it comes to 6E WiFi consoles, gaming enthusiasts may have to wait a bit longer-there aren't any consoles that support 6E at the moment. However, avid gamers should be on the lookout for potential WiFi spec increases in 2024. Microsoft is believed to be adding WiFi 6E capabilities to the new Xbox Series X sometime in 2024—this will make it the first Xbox gaming console with 6E capabilities.  

It’s only a matter of time before this breakthrough technology is added to your favorite consoles, which will mean faster downloads and more stable multiplayer matches than ever before. 


 


PC gaming With WiFi 6E

If you prefer to play on a PC, your first order of business is to decide whether you want to use a desktop or a laptop. If you're planning on using a desktop, you'll likely need to grab a wireless network adapter that supports WiFi 6 and/or WiFi 6E. One internal adapter you can try for WiFi 6E is the TP-Link AXE5400. For WiFi 6, you may want to consider an option like the TP-Link AX3000. Internal adapters are generally affordable, and since they interface directly with the motherboard, they tend to be faster as well.

For WiFi 6E, one USB adapter you can explore is the NETGEAR Nighthawk WiFi 6 or 6E USB 3.0 Adapter (A8000) AXE3000. If you don't have an adapter and want to use WiFi 6 or 6E with a laptop, you'll need to buy one that natively supports the standard. Which laptop to buy is going to depend on your situation, but Dell’s XPS series and HP’s Envy line may be worth a look. Dedicated gamers might want to explore gaming stalwarts as well, such as Alienware, MSI, and Acer. If you’re a Mac OS gamer, you’ll need a new M1 MacBook Pro or Air.

When it comes to gaming with WiFi 6E, it’s still early days, but the speed and stability can have major payoffs for tech-savvy gamers looking for the latest and greatest. 

 

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