There’ll be more ways to connect extra bits and bobs to a WiFi network shortly, alongside faster access, with additions to how mesh WiFi works coming in short order.
Even though CES 2021 revealed that a new form of WiFi would be coming in the form of WiFi 6E, it’s not the only change wireless networking looks set to receive, and not everything was announced at the digital edition of the world’s biggest tech show. There were still some surprises, it seems, and one was revealed just recently.
Simply put, the standard of mesh WiFi — “EasyMesh” — is changing while wireless networking gets an update of sorts, as well, as the Wi-Fi Alliance updates EasyMesh to make it faster and more secure moving forward in our world, and WiFi networks make it easier for you to add devices to your smart home and business.
In Australia, EasyMesh is supported by a handful of network device makers, though it’s gradually expanding, with EasyMesh starting out in Telstra’s network gadgets, but expanding to the likes of D-Link and others, though only in select devices.
New models could see improved speeds, however, as the Wi-Fi Alliance releases news that the EasyMesh standard now supports WiFi 6, also known as 802.11ax, a technology which increases a wireless network’s range and speeds, and is supported on numerous devices. Granted, it’ll only arrive in devices that support WiFi 6 to begin with, but more of those are coming out, and amidst something wireless networks will also get: the ability to add extra devices easily, working with the name.
Those “extra devices” could be things like lightbulbs, WiFi-enabled smoke detectors, doorbells, and security cameras — essentially, gadgets built for the smart home — as the Wi-Fi Alliance adds something called “Easy Connect”, which is basically a no-nonsense fuss-free approach to adding wireless bits to your network.
While the addition of gadgets in the smart home typically works from an app, WiFi Easy Connect can share a network’s security to a new device in the home or business by scanning the QR code, bumping it to the phone using Near-Field Communication (NFC), or entering a PIN. The idea is that instead of running through a mess of steps to join gadgets to a secure network, the process wil instead be easy, with you picking one of the ways, and letting the network do the job, while keeping everything secure.
While EasyMesh’s upgrade to WiFi 6 is one of the updates, it doesn’t seem like Easy Connect is necessarily limited to EasyMesh mesh networks. Rather, Easy Connect appears that it could go to more devices, though we’re checking into that.
As to which devices these technologies will arrive in locally, we’re also checking on that, but like anything, give it time, and you’ll likely see them, too, with chipmakers MediaTek and Qualcomm both appearing to support these additions, and these two having their hardware used in routers available in Australia, amongst others.