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Welcome Wi-Fi 6, Goodbye 802.11ax: The Wi-Fi Alliance Reveals A New, Clearer Naming Scheme

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Many of our readers would probably have no problem identifying the type of connectivity offered by Wi-Fi standards such as 802.11ac or 802.11n, but for many other users those differences have never been too clear.

That's precisely what the Wi-Fi Alliance, the organization that defines these standards, wanted to solve. In an official announcement, this body has revealed the new scheme to name Wi-Fi versions. The new names will make those versions much more easily differentiated both by manufacturers and especially by users.



Thus, this new scheme will make use of a simple numbering that will keep equivalence with the different Wi-Fi generations and the technical names of those standards. From now on this naming approach will be the following:

  • 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
This simple change will make it possible to identify each generation in a clearer way, and as the Wi-Fi Alliance officials indicate, to associate these growing numbers with "faster speeds, increased throughput, and better experiences". Industry adoption will probably be quick, as in the official announcement manufacturers such as Qualcomm, Intel, Broadcom, Aruba, Marvell, or NETGEAR have welcomed the news.

The announcement highlights the imminent appearance of solutions with Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) support, a new iteration of the standard that will offer higher data rates, increased capacity, good performance in dense environments and improved power efficiency.

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They finally figured it out. :roll:
 
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So, they took like nearly 25 years to give it a consumer-friendly name... Oh, well. At least they didn't release one standard after the other, so not much harm done, if at all.
 
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Agreed but better late then never.
 

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I hate the new scam...

Easier to determine what equipment is needed with existing setup
 

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I hate the new scam...

Easier to determine what equipment is needed with existing setup
I like this system better than others because the number determines the technology used, not the actual speeds. So I know WiFi 6 = AX, WiFi 5 = AC. So now when they tell me WiFi 5 2600 Wireless Router, I know what that is. This is unlike the stupid MicroSD/SD Card classes which means nothing. A Class 10 or U3 class card doesn't mean it's fast so you still need to look at the actual speeds. Kinda defeats the purpose.
 
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Have you ever worked with engineers?
I haven't.... I assume it's easier because everyone know the language to talk? Talking to my parents (75+), they say they have internet. They have no idea how the networking works. But that brings another question... How to teach the end user the new stuff..
 

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I haven't.... I assume it's easier because everyone know the language to talk? Talking to my parents (75+), they say they have internet. They have no idea how the networking works. But that brings another question... How to teach the end user the new stuff..
Ha well the joke is that they are really bad at coming up with end user friendly names.

On a side note, Wow AX is going to be FAST!
 
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Ha well the joke is that they are really bad at coming up with end user friendly names.

On a side note, Wow AX is going to be FAST!
world-wide free wifi is right around the corner.
 
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Still waiting for the "imminent appearance" of this, under any name.
 
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People might think the bigger number means better. But it's often just a different use case or domain where it excels. Luckily routers tend to be able to handle multiple spectrum, etc. But I can see someone getting a 60GHz USB router or something and thinking it'll work five rooms down and then leaving a bad review "I thought 6 was supposed to be better than 5!!!".
 

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Interesting to say the least

But still will have variations because of the routers output speeds
 
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So, they took like nearly 25 years to give it a consumer-friendly name... Oh, well. At least they didn't release one standard after the other, so not much harm done, if at all.
I like this system better than others because the number determines the technology used, not the actual speeds. So I know WiFi 6 = AX, WiFi 5 = AC. So now when they tell me WiFi 5 2600 Wireless Router, I know what that is. This is unlike the stupid MicroSD/SD Card classes which means nothing. A Class 10 or U3 class card doesn't mean it's fast so you still need to look at the actual speeds. Kinda defeats the purpose.
Aye. The MicroSD/SD Card classes naming conventions should be next on the list. They are not retarded, but utterly garbage and stupidly confusing. Almost as the naming schemes for Intel's Xeon processors. Almost...
 
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Aye. The MicroSD/SD Card classes naming conventions should be next on the list. They are not retarded, but utterly garbage and stupidly confusing. Almost as the naming schemes for Intel's Xeon processors. Almost...
Most stupidly confusing processor names I know are Mediatek's, it seems that they literally want to make it cryptic.
 
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This would be great if it weren't for the mess that is ac wave 2. According to this, then, any "Wifi 5" device might either have or not have MU-MIMO and similar crucial features. IMO, ac should be 5, ac wave 2 should be 6, and ax 7.
 

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Ha well the joke is that they are really bad at coming up with end user friendly names.
Also user designs and interfaces. Look at the old Qtek Windoes Mobile phones for some really good examples of what happens when engineers are allowed to design things without supervision.

I should note I really liked those phones.
 
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Bravo! Now I would love to see those new descriptive glyphs in use across Windows and iOS devices!
 
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So, they took like nearly 25 years to give it a consumer-friendly name... Oh, well. At least they didn't release one standard after the other, so not much harm done, if at all.
And even after all that time they managed to put a five off-center

1538650081462.png
 
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And even after all that time they managed to put a five off-center

View attachment 108028
I noticed that too. Even seeing how these are UI mockups likely never to be used anywhere, that's still ... pretty weak.

Edit: anywhere except cheapo smartphones, I suppose. Lord knows they crib UI elements from wherever they can be found.
 
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hmmm sooooo Wifi 4 is 802.11n on 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz ? :)
 

Fx

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This is a decent attempt to simplify the identification of wifi speed and connection quality for end users but only makes wifi attributes more ambiguous to those that deploy, configure and troubleshoot wireless networks. There is too many technologies at play to simply slap a number on them.
 
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hmmm sooooo Wifi 4 is 802.11n on 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz ? :)
A) n is so old at this point that nobody really cares (or ought to care, at least).
B) have any but the very cheapest n routers been single-band?
C) does it matter, when anyone technical enough to know that there are different frequency bands will know to look beyond these labels?
 
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