A pre-release form of the new Wi-Fi 6 standard has gone live. It will be replacing the older 802.11ac Wi-Fi that most recent PCs and laptops have with a new 802.11ax instead.
You might be wondering whether you’ll get any access to it though. Even if there’s a new standard available from manufacturers, that doesn’t mean that existing devices will have the right hardware to support. With it being so new, even the best and latest PCs and laptops might not support it.
However, there is good news after all. Many users will still be able to add Wi-Fi 6 to their devices, even after they have already bought them.
How Do You Get Wi-Fi 6 On A Pre-Bought Device?
This will all depend on the type of device you own. There are few Wi-Fi 6 modules out there and unfortunately, support for AMD systems isn’t available yet.
However, if your device is powered by a 64-bit Intel processor, you should be able to make the upgrade.
Both Intel and Killer Networking will have cards available for you to upgrade to Wi-Fi 6. Hopefully, more developments will be coming soon to expand your choice and improve accessibility to all.
How Do You Upgrade?
For those with desktop computers, you will need to use a PCIe connection to add in a new networking card. Laptops, on the other hand, will have an M.2 slot for you to fit in the module you need.
Wi-Fi 6 On Desktops
While the Wi-Fi 6 modules from Intel and Killer Networking are both M.2 cards designed for laptops, you can still use them in your desktop too.
They won’t work in a desktop M.2 slot, but they can be installed with a special PCIe adapter.
All you need to do is slot the card in your adapter and then plug that into an open PCIe slot on your desktop’s motherboard. This adapter should also provide the antennae necessary to connect small slots to the Wi-Fi 6 module.
Once you’ve set this up, you’ll need to do a quick driver installation to get Wi-Fi 6 up and running.
Wi-Fi 6 On Laptops
You will first need to open up your laptop, you should be able to spot an M.2 module which is responsible for powering your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Simply unscrew this module and unplug the antenna wires connecting to your existing Wi-Fi module. Next, insert your new Wi-Fi 6 card into the M.2 slot and connect the antenna wires. Again, you will need to install drivers to get it all finalized.
A Simpler Solution On The Horizon
We hope that simpler solutions for upgrading will come out in the future. A nice solution could come in the form of Wi-Fi 6 dongles which would mean you could plugin and access the upgraded connectivity.
Alternatively, PCIe cards with new Wi-Fi modules built-in would make upgrading your desktop’s Wi-Fi capabilities a lot easier in the future.
Will you try to install Wi-Fi 6 on your PC or laptop? Or will you wait until you next upgrade your system?