Wi-Fi 6E products are available to consumers today, but you probably wouldn’t know if you looked around the average household. Although supporting devices have been introduced in recent years, component shortages, satisfaction with Wi-Fi 6, and the imminent arrival of Wi-Fi 7 have caused many to overlook the latest wireless standard. NETGEAR is attempting to ease adoption by announcing a USB adapter that brings Wi-Fi 6E to supporting systems over a USB 3.x Type-A connection.
net gears Nighthawk AXE3000 WiFi 6E USB 3.0 Adapter (A8000) announced Wednesday works with laptops and desktops. According to the announcement by the San Jose, California-based company, it supports the 2.4 GHz band with up to 600 Mbit/s, the 5 GHz band with up to 1,200 Mbit/s and the 6 GHz band with up to to 1,200 Mbit/s.
The adapter uses a flip-up antenna and there is an optional bracket that can hold the adapter and connect it to a PC via its USB-A cable, allowing you to move the adapter around for an enhanced signal.
Of course, you can’t get the most out of the adapter without a Wi-Fi 6E router. And you can’t use Wi-Fi 6E on a Mac.
Wi-Fi 6E is a boost over Wi-Fi 6 by using the 6GHz band in addition to the 2.4 and 5GHz bands for less congestion and lower latency. However, shorter wavelengths mean that it is at its maximum at shorter distances, especially when obstacles such as walls come into play. Your performance also depends on the maximum speeds you can get from your ISP.
For the forward-thinking, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers is expected to finalize the Wi-Fi 7 specification by 2024, with gamers like Intel predicting that Wi-Fi 7 PCs will be out by 2025. Wi-Fi 7 should improve Wi-Fi 7 Fi 6E by increasing maximum channel bandwidth from 160MHz to 320MHz and increasing throughput by up to 20 percent when moving from 1,024 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) to 4,096 QAM and multi- Introduces link operation (MLO) and multi-resource unit puncturing.
All in all, a simple way to add Wi-Fi 6E to your PC might not be enough to justify the move to the standard. But for those who have the gear, space, and interest to make the upgrade worth it, Netgear said it would be releasing the AXE3000 this month at an MSRP of $90.