The naming of Wi-Fi standards has always been an alphabetical nightmare for non-technical people, and with the standards upon which Wi-Fi Alliance certifications are based seemingly following no logical pattern, it was time for a re-vamp! With a new naming scheme and visuals, we can finally show our clients which generation of Wi-Fi technology they are currently running without causing confusion and frustration for both parties.

In short, instead of the new 802.11ax standard that’s graced the Networking news headlines recently being named solely as such, it can now also be referred to as ‘Wi-Fi 6’. This means that two previous Wi-Fi technology generations will be called ‘Wi-Fi 4’ (for 802.11n) and ‘Wi-Fi 5’ (for 802.11ac).

A note from the experts

The Wifi Alliance introduced the newest naming changes and visual updates in their user guide released at the start of the month, stating that “The goal is to allow consumers to easily recognise the type of Wi-Fi capability found in their devices and network connections, much as they recognise today through cellular identification of capabilities 3G, 4G, etc…”

What to expect on your connectivity status bar

Perhaps even more exciting for us than printed names and icons, the Wi-Fi Alliance has also stated how the user interface will also replicate what generation of Wi-Fi consumers are using for their connectivity. The infamous arc signal strength icon we all know and love from the top of our smart-phone screens or the status bar of our laptops will now also be coupled with a numerical status of 4, 5, or 6. We look forward to seeing how much healthy competition this leads to among service providers, and the benefits our clients will see going forward.