Wi-Fi 6 is Here

Does your laptop support 802.11n, 802.11ac, or 802.11a10? If you don’t know you’re in luck and if you didn’t realize one of those protocols was not real, your life is about to get better.

The Wi-Fi Alliance, the body that sets all the standards and protocols for each for of Wi-Fi technology, is finally going to drop the archaic numbering and lettering scheme. The next revision of Wi-Fi will be known as Wi-Fi 6
(technically 802.11ax).

“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.”

The naming scheme will go backwards as well.

  • Wi-Fi 6 to identify devices that support 802.11ax technology
  • Wi-Fi 5 to identify devices that support 802.11ac technology
  • Wi-Fi 4 to identify devices that support 802.11n technology

The Wi-Fi alliance has approved the new logos and descriptions of the naming system to be used by anyone meeting the standard (basically everyone).

And even though we are now past the big holiday shopping season, we’ve only seen a few of these products enter the market and be branded as such. Look for all of that to change as consumer network manufacturers begin
their push to the new labeling standard in earnest now.