In an effort to educate the general consumer, streamline the process, and create a more powerful standard, the Wi-Fi Alliance is ready to unveil Wi-Fi 6.

Although it is unreleased, Wi-Fi 6 does more than just bring more power to the table. Namely, in its, well, name. Wi-Fi 6 will the successor to the latest standard 802.11ac which should explain why the Wi-Fi Alliance has decided to change the name. It will also retroactively change the other standards - despite older standards generally not being used - in numerical order 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)

From a consumer educational standpoint, it is a godsend. No more explaining which letter works with what, or why ac is better than n but a is so much worse than the others. It is a straightforward naming convention. It will also visually show on devices connected to the network which standard they are. You, and your clients, can expect to see the numerical marketing appear over the next year or so. However, that is totally reliant on if companies want to use it or pretend that 802.11ax - the forthcoming standard - is more important.

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