Select Page
802.11 Gets a New Name

Confused by the IEEE 802.11 naming conventions used to denote the different generations of Wi-Fi technology? You are not alone. Over time, as manufacturers found new and different ways to speed up wireless connections, the 802.11 nomenclature became more confusing for users. In an effort to make versioning more user friendly and easier to understand, the Wi-Fi Alliance trade group recently introduced a significant re-branding of the 802.11 standards.

 

802.11 User-Friendly Names

While the underlying Wi-Fi specifications, managed by the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) will keep their technical names, the Wi-Fi Alliance that certifies Wi-Fi products is renaming the last two generations and the soon to be released next generation to Wi-Fi 4, Wi-Fi 5, and Wi-Fi 6.

Similar to Bluetooth 3, 4, and 5, the new naming scheme will help Wi-Fi manufacturers, operators, and end users easily understand both the Wi-Fi technology supported by a device and the connection that device makes with a Wi-Fi network. With the new naming scheme, users can assume that the higher the number, the more advanced the wireless technology it supports. Additionally, because Wi-Fi generations are backward compatible, newer devices will work seamlessly with older legacy networks.

Wi-Fi Alliance

The Wi-Fi Alliance is encouraging adoption of generation names Wi-Fi 4, Wi-Fi 5, and Wi-Fi 6 as industry terminology for use in marketing materials and promotion with consumers, media and analysts. Generations of Wi-Fi prior to Wi-Fi 4 will not be assigned names. The Wi-Fi Alliance said it expects the generational terminology to be broadly adopted across the Wi-Fi ecosystem.

In a statement issued by the Wi-Fi Alliance announcing the new naming convention Edgar Figueroa, President and Chief Executive expressed the alliance’s enthusiasm for the change. ‘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,’ Figueroa admitted. ‘The 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.

 

Wi-Fi 6

Today Wi-Fi 5 5GHz band can push speeds of 1,300Mbit/s. That’s 600 times faster than speeds were in 1997. Wi-Fi 6 will take that another step forward, and it’s not just speed that’s improving. Wi-Fi 6 is cleverly engineered to squeeze more bandwidth out of the existing 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi 5 radios already employed. The end result is more capacity on the same channels, with less interference between them, as well as faster data transfer speeds.

 

Optimize Your Wireless Network

Whether your organization has an existing wireless network or is planning to implement one, Cerium Networks can help. From site surveys that ensure sufficient coverage, to wireless network assessments for maintaining efficiencies and identify aging hardware, to security assessments that enable better protection and keep hackers at bay, Cerium has the expertise and experience to help.

Related Articles

A sampling of other articles you may enjoy if you liked this one.

Why Hyper-Convergence Is a Better Approach to Data Center Design
Nov 12, 2018

IT teams are under increasing pressure to roll out new applications and services quickly to meet cha...

Read More
Office 365 customers must have TLS 1.2 enabled before October 31
Oct 3, 2018

A quick Office 365 reminder as a critical date is fast approaching: you must have TLS 1.2 enabled b...

Read More
Cisco Tetration - Cerium Networks
Cisco Tetration
Jul 30, 2018

Your data center is a primary resource for your organization. It can be a balancing act ensuring agi...

Read More
Stay in the Know

Stay in the Know

Don't miss out on critical security advisories, industry news, and technology insights from our experts. Sign up today!

You have Successfully Subscribed!