A new Wi-Fi version has landed, and it’s bringing some important changes. Wi-Fi 802.11ax, now named Wi-Fi 6 to lessen confusion, is set to improve speed and performance and better prepare for a wireless future with thousands of devices all vying for data. Here’s everything you need to know.
What is Wi-Fi 6?
Wi-Fi 6 is a new Wi-Fi standard, named so to avoid confusion with older standards, which are now designated as follows:
- 802.11b is now Wi-Fi 1
- 802.11a is now Wi-Fi 2
- 802.11g is now Wi-Fi 3
- 802.11n is now Wi-Fi 4
- 802.11ac is now Wi-Fi 5
- 802.11ax is now Wi-Fi 6
Wi-Fi 6 is based on the new IEEE 802.11ax standard, so you might see the two terms interchanged. It’s still going to act like the Wi-Fi you know and love now, except with some added benefits. The Wi-Fi Alliance ( the group that manages the implementation of Wi-Fi) lists these four key benefits of Wi-Fi 6:
- Faster overall transfer speeds to and from devices
- More capacity for connected devices
- Better performance with many connected devices
- Less device battery drain when connected
User groups and manufacturers alike have signalled their strong support of the change, and an overwhelming majority sees it as being a great change on a variety of fronts.