iPad Pro 2022 adds Wi-Fi 6E but you can also disable it — here’s why
The iPad Pro 2022 was largely iterative, but it did bring a couple of updates, one of which was the ability to use Wi-Fi 6E, an upgrade over the already speedy Wi-Fi 6 standard.
However, it seems this comes with some caveats. First reported by MacRumors (opens in new tab) the feature does not work flawlessly, at least according to Apple (opens in new tab). While the new iPad Pro 2022 models can both use Wi-Fi 6E, they can only use it effectively if your router is set up as a single network name rather than one name per channel. If you have your Wi-Fi 6E router set up as three different names — one for 2.4 GHz, 5GHz and 6HZ respectively — Apple warns that your experience may not work as expected.
This is why Apple has had to add a feature that allows users to turn off Wi-Fi 6E functionality. This can be done in the Wi-Fi Menu of the settings app. In this menu, each Wi-Fi network that uses Wi-Fi 6E as a separate network name will have the ability to toggle Wi-Fi 6E mode off or on. Once this is toggled off, your iPad Pro 2022 will only connect to the network via the 2.4GHz or 5GHz channels.
Ultimately, this shouldn’t impact your user experience with the iPad Pro 2022 much — if at all. While there are a number of the best Wi-Fi 6 routers available, it’s still relatively early for their adoption. But it is disappointing to see a new feature not work out of the gate. You will have to decide if it is worth combining your Wi-Fi router channels into one network name, or not use Wi-Fi 6E on your iPad.
What is Wi-Fi 6E?
Wi-Fi 6E is an extension of the Wi-Fi 6 standard (Wi-Fi 6 is sometimes referred to as 802.11ax). Without getting too into the weeds, the higher numbers represent better performance, meaning Wi-Fi 6 routers and Wi-Fi 6 capable devices will perform better than those limited to Wi-Fi 5 if all other conditions are the same. To get maximum performance, you need a Wi-Fi 6 capable router and a Wi-Fi 6 capable device.
In ideal conditions, Wi-Fi 6 routers can throughput data speeds of up to 9.6Gbps — which is truly insane. For reference, most home networks don’t even have the capability to reach speeds that fast. This allows for 4K video streaming simultaneously on multiple devices among other performance benefits.
What Wi-Fi 6E does then, is take the boost in performance you get from Wi-Fi 6 and expand the network channels that it can be dispersed through. Wi-Fi 6 is limited to two channels: 2.5GHz and 5GHz. Wi-Fi 6E opens up a third channel: 6GHz.
Practically, these channels allow your devices to not hog bandwidth from the other devices on your network. Wi-Fi 6E routers give your network the ability to create up to extra 14 data channels, which greatly increases the available channels for your plethora of devices. As smart home devices become more prevalent, these extra channels will make a real difference.
How does Wi-Fi 6E work on iPad Pro 2022?
To use Wi-Fi 6E on your iPad Pro 2022 you don’t need to do anything extra to your iPad Pro. The setting is already active by default. What you will need to do is properly set up your network. This means having a Wi-Fi 6E router first and foremost.
Unfortunately, our best Wi-Fi 6 router does not come with Wi-Fi 6E capability. Luckily, our number two option is the Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 does have Wi-Fi 6E capability, so if you need a Wi-Fi 6E router, we recommend that one. There’s also this excellent Eero mesh router for $280 off ahead of Black Friday.
Once you have your router, you will need to set it up with a single network name (SSID). As long as it is set up that way, your iPad Pro 2022 can enjoy peak internet speeds. Otherwise, you’ll be limited to just Wi-Fi 6 — which admittedly is still pretty good.