Wi-Fi 6E Rising Pains For Apple

You could have seen that the brand new iPad Professional has Wi-Fi 6E help. That induced lots of my wi-fi mates to leap out and order one, as I anticipated. As I beforehand talked about, 2023 goes to be a giant 12 months for Wi-Fi 6E. I used to be improper concerning the 6E radio on the brand new iPhone however given the path that Apple goes with the iPad Professional and possibly the MacBook as properly we’re in for lots of enjoyable. Why? As a result of Apple is altering their stance on how you can configure 6GHz networks.

An SSID By Any Different Identify

If you happen to’ve ever arrange wi-fi networks earlier than there are some totally different strategies about how you can configure the SSIDs with a number of bands. One college of thought says that you might want to mix each 2.4GHz and 5GHz in the identical SSID and let the gadget determine which one is the very best to make use of. That is the best way that I’ve mine arrange at house.

Nevertheless, should you do a fast Google search you’ll discover lots of different knowledge that implies creating two totally different SSIDs that solely work on a single band. The thought course of right here is that the gadget can’t distinguish between the totally different bands as soon as it comes to a decision so it is going to be caught on one or the opposite. Whereas that doesn’t sound like a foul concept it does have points in observe. What in case your gadget chooses 2.4GHz while you didn’t need it to? What in case your gadget is caught on 5GHz on the restrict of the noise flooring in your workplace and also you need it to swap to the opposite band for higher throughput as a substitute of including one other AP?

There are a number of causes to have extra management over how the frequency band is chosen. Sadly, Apple has by no means allowed the gadget to decide on the band when becoming a member of a community. The one technique to affect that choice has been to create totally different networks, which results in administration points and different challenges for units which are unable to affix one community or one other. The administration points made the planning course of somewhat difficult.

Now, with the arrival of a tool that has a Wi-Fi 6E radio within the 6GHz vary, Apple has modified their eager about how a community ought to function. In a brand new help publish, Apple now clarifies that the SSID names shouldn’t be totally different for the three totally different bands. There’s no different point out of what occurs at a tool degree so far as band choice.

In a totally different tech help article, Apple describes what occurs should you don’t give them the identical identify. If you happen to be a part of a 6GHz-only community on the brand new iPad Professional, the gadget will detect there is no such thing as a corresponding 5GHz community and seek for one from the identical AP and allow you to be a part of it as properly. The article for this even mentions the ominous “restricted compatibility”, even when the dialog field doesn’t. If you happen to select to affix this break up SSID setup there may be one other affirmation field that encourages you to go tweak your SSID settings to make the identify the identical on each networks. I’m undecided if that very same immediate comes up for two.4GHz networks too. Perhaps I can borrow somebody’s iPad to check it.

Disabling New Tech

Though Apple has by no means allowed customers to pick out the band that they wish to use on an SSID there’s a new function for 6GHz that provides you the chance to work round any points you may have with this new band. Within the settings for the SSID there’s a toggle for “Wi-Fi 6E Mode” that means that you can disable 6GHz on that SSID till enabled once more. This fashion you should utilize the beneficial settings for the SSID per Apple however nonetheless disable the items that could be damaged.

Apparently, this toggle solely seems for 6E networks in line with the help article. There’s nonetheless no technique to toggle between 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Nevertheless, including this help to the community settings needs to be simple to hold down into the opposite bands. Whether or not or not Apple does it’s a a lot totally different matter. Additionally, the setting isn’t at the moment in MacOS Ventura. That might be as a result of there isn’t a 6E radio out there in a Mac but and the setting won’t present up till there’s a supported radio. Time will inform when Apple releases a MacBook with a built-in Wi-Fi 6E radio.

Tom’s Take

After months of pros saying that Apple must launch help for Wi-FI 6E it’s lastly right here. It additionally brings new capabilities from the software program facet to regulate how the 6E radios are used. Is it utterly baked and foolproof? In fact not. Getting the radios into the iPad was step one. By introducing them now with software program for troubleshooting and configurations and following it up with a probable 6GHz MacBook and iMac lineup quickly there shall be loads of time to work out the problems by the point the iPhone 15 will get help for Wi-Fi 6E. Apple is clearly defining their expectations for the way an SSID ought to work so you may have loads of time to work via issues or change your design paperwork earlier than the explosion of Wi-Fi 6E shoppers arrives en masse in 2023.


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