Consumer Reports: What is WiFi 6? Here's how it could help speed up your internet connection

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- These days, your WiFi might be your family's connection to the world. But you know it doesn't always work as well as it should. As Consumer Reports explains, upgrading to the latest generation of wireless routers could finally fix your WiFi woes.

About a year ago WiFi 6 routers were kind of hard to find, but nowadays they're pretty much everywhere. So, what is WiFi 6? It's the latest version of the WiFi networking standard. That's tech jargon, but here's what you should really care about.

It transfers data faster and handles more data and more devices at the same time better than older WiFi standards. That means faster, more stable connectivity. And WiFi 6 routers are the first to have built-in support for WPA3, the latest wireless encryption standard, which makes it harder for hackers to access your private data.

You don't have to worry about compatibility with older devices, because different generations of WiFi are designed to communicate with each other. Because WiFi 6 routers are more efficient, your older devices may see better performance.

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If you're ready to upgrade, consider the Netgear Nighthawk AX1800 for $230 (a 2-pack) and $290 (3-pack). (In Canada, it's $300 for the 2-pack and $450 for the 3-pack.) It's a Consumer Reports Best Buy. It has automatic firmware updating, and CR says it's easy to set up and does an excellent job of sending out the WiFi signal.

Because a lot of tech that's coming is expected to be WiFi 6-certified, upgrading your router now is like future-proofing your home network. And it just might stop your kids from complaining.

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If you rent your router, check with your internet service provider to see if it offers a WiFi 6 upgrade. But be sure to ask about the total cost, because it might increase your monthly bill.

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2021 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit ConsumerReports.org.

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