Wi-Fi Alliance rebrands 802.11 Wi-Fi standards for easy understanding
Wi-Fi Alliance, the group that oversees the implementation of Wi-Fi, has announced rebranding of the “802.11” Wi-Fi standards for easy understanding of the Wi-Fi technology supported by the user’s device and used in a connection the device makes with a Wi-Fi network.
With the upcoming launch of the newest Wi-Fi standard, 802.11ax next year, Wi-Fi Alliance will adapt its certification program with the new naming. 802.11ax will be rebranded as “Wi-Fi 6”. Similarly, the earlier versions of the wireless data protocol too would be renamed.
“For nearly two decades, Wi-Fi users have had to sort through technical naming conventions to determine if their devices support the latest Wi-Fi,” said Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO of Wi-Fi Alliance. “Wi-Fi Alliance is excited to introduce Wi-Fi 6, and present a new naming scheme to help industry and Wi-Fi users easily understand the Wi-Fi generation supported by their device or connection.”
For those unaware, the current version is 802.11ac, and the versions prior to this were 802.11n, 802.11g, 802.11a, and 802.11b. So, if we start with the first version, which is 802.11b, the naming of the wireless data protocol would be as follows:
Wi-Fi 1 – 802.11b (1999)
Wi-Fi 2 – 802.11a (1999)
Wi-Fi 3 – 802.11g (2003)
Wi-Fi 4 – 802.11n (2009)
Wi-Fi 5 – 802.11ac (2014)
The rebranding of 802.11 Wi-Fi standards (above) will help us understand, which wireless data protocol offers faster data and improved efficiency. For instance, it will help Wi-Fi users to understand the difference between 802.11ax, 802.11ac, 802.11n, and so forth.
Wi-Fi 6 will introduce higher data rates, increased capacity, better performance in dense environments, and improved power efficiency. It is also said to deliver up to 11Gbps speeds across three or more devices. Devices with next-gen Wi-Fi 6 devices are expected to release next year.