This story is part of , our complete coverage of the showroom and the latest technical equipment.
There was a lot going on predictablyin the wireless network category. Along with a plethora of 5G-related announcements, the show served as a kind of coming-out party for next-generation Wi-Fi 6 routers, with lots of interesting new models targeted at the crowd – and apparently surprising with price tags reasonable.
Mesh is becoming mainstream
These new routers primarily included mesh systems that use multiple devices to spread a fast Internet signal in all corners of your home. There were only a few systems like the ones that supported Wi-Fi 6 in 2019, and most of them cost at least $ 500. This changed at CES with the introduction of several new systems at a fraction of the price. They include:
Compare that to a year ago when most mesh systems were retailing for hundreds of dollars without Support for Wi-Fi 6. We have come a long way in the past 12 months.
Go-time for Wi-Fi 6
In addition to these special mesh systemsThis can serve as a hub for a mesh setup via the Wi-Fi Alliance's new EasyMesh standard. This standard allows you to cobble a mesh setup with devices from different brands. The cheapest of these routers only costs $ 120. D-Link and TP-Link each have new Wi-Fi 6-range extenders, which are also planned for 2020.
Other interesting new standalone WiFi 6 routers are the Asus RT-AX86Uand extends it with faster, more efficient Wi-Fi 6 functions and speeds. Asus also has a new ZenWifi mesh setup at CES 2020 – it doesn't support Wi-Fi 6, but it does have a built-in Alexa speaker. This could be an interesting alternative to the Google Assistant ,
Another great news about Wi-Fi 6: Comcast is now offering Xfinity Internet subscribers with 300Mbps plans and a faster upgrade optionfree of charge. Even better, is a free service that automatically protects devices on your network from online threats. It used to cost $ 6 a month.
Wait, what is Wi-Fi 6E?
And then there's something else, Wi-Fi 6E is a new name that was announced by the Wi-Fi Alliance shortly before CES. It identifies devices that can access bandwidths in the 6 GHz band. With a total frequency range of 1,200 MHz – from 70 MHz in the 2.4 GHz band to 500 MHz in the 5 GHz band – this band could open up a lot of space for applications with high bandwidth such as 4K video streams and augmented reality applications.
And since regulators are ready to open this band for WiFi use, the industry seems ready to take advantage of them.
A typical example: Broadcom. Just a few days after the Wi-Fi Alliance announced that Wi-Fi 6E is one thing,, Manufacturers like Netgear seem to be busy integrating these chips into their routers, and TP-Link tells me that this is already the case ,
Some people who bought Wi-Fi 6 early might be frustrated, but since Broadcom was ready to use chipsets right from the start, it was possible that other chip makers were prepared as well, perhaps even Wi-Fi 6E-enabled hardware sold in devices currently sold.
I'm examining it to get a better sense of which devices will use the additional spectrum and which won't, if it's available. So be excited to tell more about it.
All of this – the mesh, the Wi-Fi 6 explosion, the arrival of Wi-Fi 6E – is an indication that there is a lot going on in the world of Wi-Fi. And CES is just getting started. We will continue to follow the latest developments. So stay up to date.