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Wifi is indicated by version numbers, version 6 will be released next year

Wifi is indicated by version numbers: The Wi-Fi Alliance organization has announced that Wi-Fi versions will now be identified by a simple number
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Wifi is indicated by version numbers: The Wi-Fi Alliance organization has announced that Wi-Fi versions will now be identified by a simple number. A higher version should simply indicate that you are dealing with the best version, so that you no longer have to pay attention to a combination of letters and numbers.

Wifi is indicated by version numbers

When dealing with Wi-Fi products, for example it is important with a router, you should always pay attention to a combination of different letters and numbers. This way you can find out what kind of networks are supported. For example, the current standard is 802.11ac, but we have had four other variants for that. If you knew what those letters and numbers stood for, it was clear what you could do with them. But for many normal users it was simply difficult.

But that will be made easier from now on. Wifi versions are now referred to by version numbers. That also works retroactively. As a result, you now get the overview below.

  • 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)

So we are currently on wifi version five. The idea behind this is that a higher number indicates that you are dealing with a better version of the wireless standard. And it should also make it immediately clear that new versions are compatible with older versions.

 

This new rendering is not only for hardware, but will change some things for software too. If you connect to a Wi-Fi network in the future and are not sure whether this is the fastest option, a number will now be shown in the connection icon. The higher the number in the icon, the newer and faster the connection. So it is good to see that people are still looking back, but in the meantime the new generation of the wireless standard is just around the corner.

Wifi in the future

The Wi-Fi Alliance, the non-profit organization behind the network standard, expects manufacturers to adopt the new version numbers on their own expressions and packaging, instead of resorting to the combination of numbers and letters. The organization also expects previously used WiFi versions to be indicated with the new figures. Since this alliance represents just about every major tech company, it’s safe to assume that all major tech companies are on board with these changes.

From next year, when Wi-Fi version 6 is also launched, the new figures will be visible on product packaging.

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