The iPhone 6 comes with a lot of new features, and one feature that Apple is touting is improved WiFi capabilities thanks to the better and faster 802.11ac wireless chip on the inside of the device. However, while this does improve WiFi speeds over previous iPhone models, it won’t necessarily improve your internet browsing speeds.
In a video made by iClarified, they compare the WiFi speeds of the iPhone 6 Plus to the now-older iPhone 5s. The iPhone 6 Plus supports the newer 802.11ac wireless standard, whereas the iPhone 5s supports 802.11n.
Unsurprisingly, the iPhone 6 Plus reaches speeds of almost 280 Mbps, while the iPhone 5s only reaches a bit over 100 Mbps. You may thinking, “Booyah! Faster internet speeds!”, but that’s actually not the case.
These speed tests done by iClarified are done over a local area network (LAN). That is, the tests were done locally over a home network from the router to the iPhones. This is different than internet speed, where the signal isn’t just sent to the router and back, but instead is sent to the router, then out to the internet service provider’s servers and then back through the router to the iPhone.
Internet speed is actually mostly reliant on your internet service provider and is completely separate from what your iPhone is capable of. So even if the iPhone 6 can reach speeds of almost 280 Mbps, your internet speed will still be dependent on what your internet service provider is sending to your router.
So if your internet connection calls for 25 Mbps, that’s the speed that you’re going to get on your iPhone 6, even if the device can handle 280 Mbps. The only time when the iPhone 6 could actually deliver 280 Mbps WiFi speeds is if the internet that you’re connected to can deliver the same amount through its own servers and to your router.
That’s also when the difference between iPhone 6 and iPhone 5s WiFi speeds can make a huge difference with internet speeds. For instance, even if your internet service provider can deliver 300 Mbps to your router, the iPhone 5s is only capable of handling around 100 Mbps, as seen in iClarified‘s test, whereas the iPhone 6 will deliver much faster speeds, as shown in our own WiFi tests. Therefore, this is where the WiFi capabilities of your iPhone will see some limitations. Nevertheless, 100 Mbps is blazing fast, so if you’re getting that kind of internet speed on your iPhone, there’s not a lot to complain about.
Of course, 802.11ac WiFi isn’t the only neat feature that’s new on the iPhone 6. It also comes with NFC to use with Apple Pay, a better camera with new camera features like timelapse and slo-mo video at 240FPS, a thinner design, and let’s not forget about the larger display, with the 4.7-inch screen being the new standard now, while the iPhone 6 Plus rocks a massive 5.5-inch display.
Currently, the iPhone 6 is still seeing backorders online, while many brick-and-mortar locations have a handful in stock. It seems though that Apple Stores are the best place to go if you want to get an iPhone 6 the soonest, as we’ve discovered that carrier stores have less in stock. However, it really depends on where you live, so it’s best to call carrier stores in your location to see what inventory is like.
In any case, enjoy your new iPhone 6, but don’t count on faster internet speeds on the new device unless you upgrade your internet service accordingly. Depending on where you live, you can get a pretty fast connection for fairly cheap, but sometimes you’ll be stuck with DSL, for which there is no way out of that hell hole, even if your iPhone 6 has faster WiFi capabilities.