Wi-Fi 6 is on the way, but it isn’t the fastest wireless technology you can get. WiGig is designed for super-fast speeds over short distances, and an improved version is coming in 2019.
HTC’s Vive Wireless Adapter connects a Vive headset to a PC wirelessly, using WiGig.
WiGig transmits data wirelessly on the 60 GHz frequency, unlike Wi-Fi 6 and other “normal” versions of Wi-Fi that use the 2.4GHz or 5GHz frequencies.
The 60GHz frequency is less congested than 2.4GHz or 5GHz, which means it can transfer more data at once. That translates into faster wireless data transfer speeds—in other words, faster Wi-Fi when using WiGig.
Specifically, the current version of WiGig is promising speeds of around 5 Gbps in the real world, while Wi-Fi 6’s real-world speeds will probably be more around 2 Gbps. And there’s a newer, better version of WiGig the way, which should be even faster at around 10 Gbps.
That sounds great, but there’s a downside. Those shorter wavelengths mean that WiGig has a much smaller range. The Wi-Fi Alliance says the current version WiGig can support distances of up to 10 meters thanks to beamforming. However, a WiGig signal will have trouble getting through walls or other obstacles.
WiGig devices can drop to the 2.4GHz or 5GHz frequencies when necessary. But, while on those frequencies, they aren’t getting WiGig’s super-fast speeds.
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WiGig Is 802.11ad and 802.11ay
The ASUS ROG Phone wirelessly connects to displays using a WiGig-enabled dock.
WiGig was first announced in 2009 by the Wireless Gigabit Alliance, a trade association pushing this technology. In 2013, the Wireless Gigabit Alliance closed and the Wi-Fi Alliance—the same body that oversees Wi-Fi standards like Wi-Fi 6—took over. “Wi-FI CERTIFIED WiGig” is now a Wi-Fi Alliance standard, just like WPA3 security is.