CES 2020: Smart homes get a boost with Wi-Fi 6
D-Link unveiling new routers enabling faster speeds in Wi-Fi mesh systems.

TechRepublic’s Karen Roby is at CES 2020 in Las Vegas. She spoke with Shane Remer of D-Link about the future and benefits of Wi-Fi 6. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation. 

Shane Remer: Wi-Fi 6 is going to be more efficient, and you’re going to get more throughput. One of the ways that Wi-Fi 6 is going to be more efficient is that it includes technologies such as OFDMA and Basic Service Set (BSS) Coloring, which will help kind of detour that traffic you have at home. Right now, if you live in an apartment complex or an area with 20 or 30 different Wi-Fi routers, there’s all those different Wi-Fi signals going around, and they all kind of get mixed up when your router’s trying to figure out which one’s yours. One of the technologies that Wi-Fi 6 has is BSS Coloring–it colors each of the packets, so it might turn one green, or blue, or red. Then it can filter that out and determine which packet makes the most sense for the router and ignore all the other packets. The other big benefit is that it has a lot more grouping. One on this router right here actually has up to 5,400 megabits per second, and I can split that up between four different bands, so it will carry a lot more data on the individual bands.

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Karen Roby: Where do you see it making the biggest difference? People go into a cafe to do their work while they’re sipping on coffee–will it make a big difference in situations like that?

Shane Remer: Yeah, absolutely. If you have a lot of smart devices at home, what happens is you get a lot of these devices waiting in line, almost like this long queue, so something that can handle faster speeds and get that data processed quicker, it can actually feed through those and go through those devices a lot faster than some of the current systems.

Karen Roby: I know you guys are here every year at CES; in 2020, what are you looking forward to seeing? Anything that’s exciting on the horizon?

Shane Remer: I love anything that’s AI-driven, and I think that’s where a lot of stuff’s going to be happening. We have AI in some of our products as well. So if there’s something that’s really cool on the AI side, I’m all for it.

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