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Wi-Fi Technology Comparison: Wi-Fi HaLow vs. Wi-Fi 6

Wi-Fi Technology Comparison: Wi-Fi HaLow vs. Wi-Fi 6

Posted Date: 2023-07-30

Because the variety of Web of Issues (IoT) gadgets continues to skyrocket (it's predicted that the overall variety of IoT gadgets will exceed 40 billion by 2025), our expectations for fast, energy-efficient, and safe connections are additionally hovering. This great progress and demand for IoT gadgets have revealed gaps within the present connectivity protocols, and wi-fi expertise innovators are racing to fill these gaps.

What's Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6R?

Wi-Fi 6 is the most recent era of Wi-Fi expertise, relevant to the two.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz license-free and lightly-licensed frequency bands, specified for merchandise adopting the IEEE 802.11ax commonplace. Earlier generations of merchandise embody Wi-Fi 4 (IEEE 802.11n) for the two.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands and Wi-Fi 5 (IEEE 802.11ac) for the 5GHz frequency band. Wi-Fi 6 gadgets designed for two.4GHz and/or 5GHz frequency bands are additionally backward suitable with earlier Wi-Fi applied sciences, together with IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11b, and IEEE 802.11g, which implies Wi-Fi 6 incurs further overhead for packet transmission, together with longer packet preambles and additional safety mechanisms.

In accordance with the Wi-Fi Alliance, Wi-Fi 6 emphasizes “delivering high-quality connections in locations with tons of or hundreds of related gadgets like stadiums and different public venues, in addition to in enterprise networks that deal with high-bandwidth purposes.” We're speaking about capability, vitality effectivity, protection, and the efficiency wanted by right now’s customers in crowded environments. Due to this fact, that is primarily appropriate for high-throughput, short-range purposes within the 5GHz and 6GHz frequency bands, similar to on-line gaming and digital actuality.


Wi-Fi HaLow is the most recent MAC/PHY protocol licensed by the Wi-Fi Alliance, designed to satisfy the wants of the Web of Issues, offering longer vary and decrease energy consumption in comparison with Wi-Fi 4, Wi-Fi 5, or Wi-Fi 6. Wi-Fi HaLow can deal with numerous IoT use circumstances in difficult environments, together with industrial, agricultural, good constructing, and good metropolis environments.

A fast comparability: Wi-Fi HaLow vs. Wi-Fi 6

Wi-Fi Technology Comparison: Wi-Fi HaLow vs. Wi-Fi 6

Not all Wi-Fi is identical, particularly relating to IoT purposes. The desk beneath compares IEEE 802.11ah Wi-Fi HaLow and 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 based mostly on the options most valued by properties and enterprises.

Connection Depth and Breadth:

Wi-Fi HaLow operates within the sub-1 GHz frequency band with comparatively slender channels, usually starting from 1 MHz to eight MHz (though IEEE 802.11ah additionally defines 16 MHz channels). Extremely-low-power IoT gadgets can use 1 MHz or 2 MHz channels, whereas far-ranging, low-power cameras may make the most of 4 MHz and eight MHz channels. The mixture of narrower channels, sub-1 GHz RF frequencies between 850 MHz and 950 MHz, and range-optimized Modulation and Coding Scheme (MCS) charges permits Wi-Fi HaLow to attain transmission distances exceeding 1 kilometer. That is ten instances the protection vary of Wi-Fi 6 (≈100 meters). Moreover, Wi-Fi HaLow’s use of sub-1 GHz indicators permits it to penetrate partitions and different obstacles extra successfully than Wi-Fi 6 indicators at 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz, whatever the materials of the obstacles.

Wi-Fi 6 helps Orthogonal Frequency Division A number of Entry (OFDMA) with Useful resource Items (RUs) allocation, permitting a number of purchasers to transmit and obtain indicators concurrently from a single entry level (AP). Though this seems to supply narrower channels, the precise minimal channel width and sampling fee stay at 20MHz, which doesn’t save energy as successfully because the slender channels utilized by Wi-Fi HaLow.

Entry Level Capability:

A single Wi-Fi HaLow entry level (AP) can deal with as much as 8,191 gadgets, which is 4 instances that of Wi-Fi 6 APs (supporting solely 2,007 gadgets). This considerably will increase the variety of related gadgets like LED bulbs, good locks, and safety cameras, to not point out the multitude of automation gadgets utilized in good buildings and factories. In good properties, Wi-Fi 6 routers usually assist dozens of gadgets, whereas a single Wi-Fi HaLow AP put in by broadband service suppliers can simply scale to satisfy the IoT wants of any family.


Each Wi-Fi HaLow and Wi-Fi 6 use the IEEE 802.11 protocol, that means that each adjust to globally acknowledged requirements that outline how related gadgets authenticate and talk securely. Each assist the most recent Wi-Fi Alliance licensed safety necessities (WPA3) and over-the-air (OTA) superior encryption commonplace for safe OTA firmware updates.

Vitality Effectivity:

Wi-Fi 6 connections require a substantial quantity of energy. Consequently, Wi-Fi 6 IoT gadgets powered by batteries may have frequent charging. That is particularly problematic for power-constrained IoT gadgets that must transmit over lengthy distances and function on battery energy for years. Wi-Fi HaLow goals to handle this problem. Wi-Fi HaLow is essentially the most power-efficient current Wi-Fi kind, requiring solely a fraction of the facility wanted by Wi-Fi 6.

Goal Wake Time (TWT) was initially designed as a power-saving mechanism for long-sleep Wi-Fi HaLow gadgets. Whereas Wi-Fi 6 additionally helps TWT, it's primarily used for scheduling multi-user MIMO uplink transmissions and doesn't assist the ultra-long sleep instances that Wi-Fi HaLow does.


Not like different proprietary wi-fi protocols, each Wi-Fi HaLow and Wi-Fi 6 are license-exempt connectivity options based mostly on the open IEEE 802.11 commonplace. This simplifies set up and reduces operational prices as no proprietary gateways, controllers, or hubs are required. Moreover, since each protocols are a part of the IEEE 802.11 commonplace, Wi-Fi HaLow and Wi-Fi 6 networks can coexist with out impacting their RF efficiency.

Knowledge Charges:

Wi-Fi HaLow gives a spread of knowledge charges completely fitted to IoT gadgets, starting from 150 Kbps utilizing MCS 10 and BPSK modulation to a most fee of 4.4 Mbps utilizing MCS 9 (for a single spatial stream with the narrowest bandwidth of 1 MHz). Operating on an 8 MHz channel, a single-stream Wi-Fi HaLow AP can accommodate numerous IoT gadgets, from low-power sensors (transmitting at charges as little as 150 Kbps on a 1 MHz channel) to cameras (sending packets at charges as much as 43 Mbps on an 8 MHz channel).

Whereas Wi-Fi HaLow offers essentially the most balanced 802.11 commonplace for many IoT purposes, it's not appropriate for transmitting small-range, data-intensive purposes similar to ultra-high-definition video streams, high-definition on-line gaming, or low-latency digital actuality purposes. Wi-Fi 6 gives quicker knowledge transmission charges and is best fitted to power-hungry purposes requiring excessive throughput and low latency.


We are able to think about Wi-Fi HaLow and Wi-Fi 6 as aggressive siblings, every with its personal slight variations however suitable and with completely different focuses. Wi-Fi 6 is the high-speed mainstream protocol for bandwidth-intensive residence and enterprise purposes, the place energy consumption and protection vary should not the first concerns. If IoT purposes require broader protection, higher penetration, decrease energy consumption, and good knowledge throughput, then Wi-Fi HaLow is the popular selection.