’˜WiFi 6’ announced as WiFi standards renamed

Often get your 802.11ac and 802.11n mixed up? Still getting the hang of 2.5GHz and 5Ghz spectrums? Well, the WiFi Alliance has got you covered.

WiFi has had a rebrand (kind of).

Aimed at making the various types of WiFi easier to differentiate, the WiFi Alliance has announced that the world’s next generation of wireless networking will simply be called ‘WiFi 6’ (catchy, right?). Its other name, of course, is 802.11ax.

The rollout will also extend to the versions of WiFi around prior to WiFi 6 (802.11ax) – with 802.11n being renamed as ‘WiFi 4’ and 802.11ac, you guessed it, now becoming known as ‘WiFi 5’, with new logos for all of the standards being rolled out too.

Here’s the full breakdown:

802.11b = WiFi 1

802.11a = WiFi 2

802.11g = WiFi 3

802.11n = WiFi 4

802.11ac = WiFi 5

802.11ax = WiFi 6

This new fresh makeover for WiFi doesn’t really have any serious bearing on anything technical, but with the change, the alliance does hope these new names will catch on a wide scale to make navigating the wonderful world of WiFi easier for everyone – from the manufacturers and operators promoting their products, down to consumers wanting the latest, greatest smart device.

Today’s WiFi 5 sits in the 5GHz band and can reach potential speeds of 1,300Mbit/s. WiFi 6 will be even faster – bringing more capacity on the same channels, less interference and quicker data transfer (as well as less power consumption, we hope). Just how much faster exactly? Well, WiFi 6 will support 8K video streaming (should your supplier support it) and between 4x to 10x speed increases, although it’s still a work in progress for now. WiFi 6 will also be backwards compatible, as with other gear.

The first approved WiFi 6 (802.11ax) products will be coming in 2019.

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