Wi-Fi now has version numbers, and Wi-Fi 6 comes out subsequent year
Wi-Fi now has version numbers, and Wi-Fi 6 comes out subsequent year

if you ’ve ever purchased a Wi-Fi router, you can also have had to kind through specs that learn like entire gibberish — like “802.11ac” or “a/b/g/n.” But going forward, Wi-Fi is adopting model numbers so that it ’ll be more straightforward to tell whether or not the router or tool you ’re shopping for is on the latest version.

in the previous, Wi-Fi variations were known by way of a letter or a pair of letters that noted a wi-fi standard. the current model is 802.11ac, however before that, we had 802.11n, 802.11g, 802.11a, and 802.11b. It was not understandable, so the Wi-Fi Alliance — the gang that stewards the implementation of Wi-Fi — is changing it.

All of those convoluted codenames are being changed. So instead of the present Wi-Fi being known as 802.11ac, it ’ll be referred to as Wi-Fi FIVE (as it ’s the 5th version). It ’ll most likely make extra sense this way, beginning with the primary model of Wi-Fi, 802.11b:

Wi-Fi 1: 802.11b (1999)
Wi-Fi 2: 802.11a (1999)
Wi-Fi THREE: 802.11g (2003)
Wi-Fi 4: 802.11n (2009)
Wi-Fi FIVE: 802.11ac (2014)

Now, as opposed to thinking about whether “ac” is healthier than “n” or if the two versions even interact, you ’ll simply have a look at the number. Wi-Fi FIVE is higher than Wi-Fi FOUR, so obviously it ’s better. and since Wi-Fi networks have always worked together, it ’s moderately clearer that Wi-Fi FIVE devices have to be in a position to connect to Wi-Fi FOUR gadgets, too.

Version quantity mockups Symbol: Wi-Fi Alliance

The Wi-Fi Alliance even desires to see this branding transcend hardware. So within the long run while you hook up with a Wi-Fi community to your phone or pc, your tool will tell you what Wi-Fi model you ’re attached to. That way, if two networks are available — one appearing “4” and the other appearing “FIVE” — you ’d have the option to make a choice the more recent, sooner possibility.

Now that the retroactive renaming is finished, it ’s time for the future. if you happen to ’ve been closely following router tendencies over the previous year (no judgments right here), you ’ll realize that the following technology of Wi-Fi is on the horizon, with the promise of faster speeds and better efficiency while coping with a mess of gadgets. It was once imagined to be called 802.11ax, but now it ’ll cross through an easier identify: Wi-Fi 6.

A Few confusion now to make things clearer later

The Wi-Fi Alliance says that it expects corporations to adopt this numerical promoting in position of the classic lettered versions. It also expects to peer earlier variations of Wi-Fi start to be mentioned by means of their updated numbered names besides.

for the reason that Wi-Fi Alliance represents with reference to each and every prime corporate that makes any roughly product with Wi-Fi in it, its movements usually replicate what the business wants. So presumably, tech companies are on board with the branding amendment and can start to put it up for sale it this way.

however it turns out very possible that there will be a few confusion within the meantime as shoppers get used to the new naming and companies aren ’t standardized in response to what convention they use. After years of seeing letters, it’ll be simply as complicated to all of sudden see a number. And if, say, the next iPhone advertises enhance for 802.11ax rather than Wi-Fi 6, then this branding effort may pass nowhere.

“The Wi-Fi Alliance expects very vast adoption of the term,” Kevin Robinson, the Alliance ’s advertising and marketing chief, mentioned in a telephone call with TechnoArticle. “It ’s most unlikely it might be straight away universally followed — that is just no longer the way any of those issues work. but the trade will transfer to this generational approach of naming, and in the end the consumers and industry each will take pleasure in that transfer.”

Robinson says the business dialog around renaming Wi-Fi generations has been “very clear” and that members had been discussing the shift with one another, so they need to be conscious and on board with the truth that it ’s happening. The Alliance can ’t force somebody to adopt the branding, and it will require a synchronized, concerted trade attempt to change over in some way that doesn ’t end up including extra confusion. however the Alliance thinks it’ll begin to happen as Wi-Fi 6 gadgets begin to pop out subsequent year.

thus far, at least one leading shopper router corporate is on board with the change: Netgear, which in an announcement accompanying the rebranding statement mentioned it believes “this may increasingly assist consumers better take into account and have fun with” the variation between Wi-Fi generations. that implies this language will start to appear in entrance of customers subsequent 12 months, at least on a few newer routers.

Total, I do suppose it ’s a good concept. nobody will need to have to determine which arbitrary selection of letters represents the model of Wi-Fi they would like. Version numbers are intuitive and widely understood. Switching the branding may get messy, however it sort of feels like a less complicated long run for Wi-Fi ’s naming.


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