Wi-Fi Gets Version Numbers

Wi-Fi now has version numbers, and Wi-Fi 6 comes out next year by Jacob Kastrenakes

In the past, Wi-Fi versions were identified by a letter or a pair of letters that referred to a wireless standard. The current version is 802.11ac, but before that, we had 802.11n, 802.11g, 802.11a, and 802.11b. It was not comprehensible, so the Wi-Fi Alliance — the group that stewards the implementation of Wi-Fi — is changing it.


All of those convoluted codenames are being changed. So instead of the current Wi-Fi being called 802.11ac, it’ll be called Wi-Fi 5 (because it’s the fifth version).

I would have prefered dated versioning. I think that version year makes it contextly clearer whether a WI-Fi system needs replacing or not. If I see "Wi-Fi Version 5", I may not know if that is the most current version of several years old. But when I talk about my 2006 Honda Accord, it is quite clear I am driving an older car. Still, this is better than trying to understand if 802.11ac is newer than 802.11a or 802.11g etc.

Author: Khürt Williams

Gen X-er near Princeton University in Montgomery Township, New Jersey, with a passion for aquariums, terrariums, technology, and photography. I love hiking in the woods, and my eclectic musical tastes span soca, Afrobeat, calypso, 1990s rap, grunge rock, and alternative genres.

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