Which Apple devices use Wi-Fi 6E and how do you disable it?

The latest WLAN standard for wireless networks and wireless Internet use is called Wi-Fi 6E. It is a comparatively young standard, which is why it is only supported by newer routers and devices. Apple has several Mac, iPad and iPhone models that can handle Wi-Fi 6E. But in addition to the advantages of modern technology, there may also be disadvantages. In this guide you will find a brief history of the latest Wi-Fi standards, the list of currently compatible Apple devices, and instructions for turning Wi-Fi 6E on and off in the device settings under macOS, iPadOS and iOS.

What is Wi-Fi 6E? Which Apple devices support the WLAN standard? How to disable the use of the 6 GHz frequencies? You can find the right answers to these and other questions here!
What is Wi-Fi 6E? Which Apple devices support the WLAN standard? How to disable the use of the 6 GHz frequencies? You can find the right answers to these and other questions here!

Brief historical overview of the latest WLAN standards

Anyone who has dealt with WLAN standards a bit in the last 15 years will recognize the symbol combinations IEEE 802.11n, IEEE 802.11ac and IEEE 802.11ax. It is not uncommon for the IEEE, which stands for “Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers”, to be omitted from data sheets. The institute issues a lot of standards, of which 802.11 stands for WLAN. The following letters represent the respective generation. Accordingly, you can create this overview of the latest developments:

  • IEEE 802.11n: The standard, also known as n-WLAN, is defined by the Wi-Fi Alliance as Wi-Fi 4 and offers a gross data rate of up to 600 MBit/s. The standard was published in 2009.
  • IEEE 802.11ac: The subsequent standard is defined by the Wi-Fi Alliance as Wi-Fi 5 and is intended to bring higher data rates over the 5 GHz band (in addition to the 2,4 GHz band). Commercially available devices offer four multiple connections (4×4 MIMO) and 80 MHz bandwidth up to 1.733 MBit/s. The standard was introduced in 2013.
  • IEEE 802.11ax: This Wi-Fi standard, which also uses 2,4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, is referred to by the Wi-Fi Alliance as Wi-Fi 6 guided. The gross data rate is up to 4.804 MBit/s; However, with commercially available devices there is often no difference to Wi-Fi 5. The first devices were offered in 2019.
  • Personal developments: The further development is also under IEEE 802.11ax WiFi 6E which, in addition to the 5 GHz and 2,4 GHz ranges, also uses frequencies around 6 GHz. In the EU, for example, B. Frequencies between 5,945 GHz and 6,425 GHz are used - in Germany these were released for Wi-Fi 2021E in July 6.
  • IEEE 802.11be: The standard Wi-Fi 7 should deliver a data rate of up to 40 GBit/s and can therefore keep up with current Thunderbolt ports via radio. This would be interesting for local networks with storage integration. I had you the details that were already available in January 2022 summarized here at the time.

These Apple devices can use Wi-Fi 6E

The latest WLAN standard or the latest development of Wi-Fi 6 has not been around for that long. Accordingly, only the latest Apple devices are equipped with Wi-Fi 6E and can use the additional frequencies for WLAN. As of mid-November 2023, the list of Apple devices with Wi-Fi 6E looks like this:

Use of the WLAN standard requires an appropriate router

Of course, you don't just need a Wi-Fi 6E compatible device, such as a new Mac, an iPad Pro from 2022 or a Pro iPhone from this year. The router that mediates between the device and the Internet must also be able to support the standard and operate on the above-mentioned frequencies around 6 GHz. An example would be this model from TP-Link.

25,00 EUR
TP-Link Archer AXE75 Wi-Fi 6E WLAN router (5400 Mbit/s Tri-Band, 4 × Gigabit LAN ports, 1 × USB...
  • Wi-Fi 6E AXE5400 Tri-Band – AXE5400 Tri-Band Wi-Fi delivers Wi-Fi speeds of up to 5400 Mbps. The...
  • Powerful processor: equipped with a 1,7GHz quad-core CPU
  • The Archer AXE75 is a WiFi router and does not support DSL function, but it is compatible with Telekom and AVM modems

Benefits of Wi-Fi 6E

  • Offers a higher bandwidth thanks to the additional radio band.
  • Wireless data transmission is faster, with less latency and signal interference.
  • Even more simultaneous actions can be carried out / requests can be processed.

Disadvantages of 6 GHz frequencies

  • Possibly a shorter range than the 5GHz and 2,4GHz bands.
  • Not so good at overcoming larger obstacles and walls.
  • If the configuration is incorrect (e.g. a different WLAN name for the 6 GHz band than for the other bands), the end device can report “restricted connectivity” and connection problems can arise.

Activate/deactivate Wi-Fi 6E on the Apple Mac

There is currently no dedicated switch in the macOS settings that enables or disables the use of Wi-Fi 6E system-wide and for all possible Wi-Fi connections. Instead, you have to select the Wi-Fi network you are currently using and individually control the use of 6 GHz bands. And it goes like this:

  1. Click on the top left of the menu bar Apple logo
  2. In its menu select the System settings ... from
  3. Click in the left sidebar WiFi-area
  4. On the right, click on the “Details…” button next to the connected WiFi
  5. In the pop-up menu you should next to Wi-Fi 6E mode can turn the switch on and off

Activate/deactivate Wi-Fi 6E on the Apple iPhone and Apple iPad

You can also individually choose on the iPhone and iPad whether the latest WLAN standard should be used or not. Here you can go to the iOS and iPadOS settings and also to select the WLAN options. This is the corresponding step-by-step guide:

  1. Opens the Settings on your Apple iPhone / iPad
  2. Is typing WiFi to access the relevant options
  3. Selects the Wi-Fi network to which the iPhone / iPad is connected
  4. There should also be a menu item there Wi-Fi 6E mode give the one you now choose
  5. You can activate and deactivate 6 GHz use with the corresponding switch

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The page contains affiliate links / images: Amazon.de

2 comments on “Which Apple devices use Wi-Fi 6E and how can you (de)activate it?”

  1. First and foremost, the usable WiFi frequencies are set on the router. Why should I have activated it on the router only to deactivate it again on the device? I'm eagerly waiting for the FB 5690 Pro.

    1. Hello Volker,

      The Apple device doesn't have to be the only one that accesses the WiFi router. So if another device should use the 6 GHz frequencies, but the Apple device does not, then there is the appropriate setting for it. The option is also practical for troubleshooting. You can limit the connection to 2,4 and 5 GHz bands to see if the problems are due to the 6E extension. As described in the article, problems can arise if, for example, two different WLAN names have been assigned for the different radio bands. Or to put it another way: Better you have than you could have.

      Best regards

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In the Sir Apfelot Blog you will find advice, instructions and reviews on Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, iMac, Mac Pro, Mac Mini and Mac Studio.