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For years now, Wi-Fi versions have been named as a combination of numbers, alphabets, and special symbols. For example, 802.11ab, 802.11n or a/b/g/n.

However, things are set to change now. Wi-Fi Alliance, the group that offers IEEE-defined names for Wi-Fi versions, has decided to make the names simpler from now onwards. The next Wi-Fi version will be named Wi-Fi 6 — easy and simple.

“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,” said Edgar Figueroa, Wifi Alliance’s CEO.

He also introduced the new naming scheme and announced that the upcoming version is Wifi 6 as per the following timeline —

  • Wi-Fi 1: 802.11b (1999)
  • Wi-Fi 2: 802.11a (1999)
  • Wi-Fi 3: 802.11g (2003)
  • Wi-Fi 4: 802.11n (2009)
  • Wi-Fi 5: 802.11ac (2014)
  • Wi-Fi 6: 8.2.11ax (2019)

Wi-Fi 6’s real name is 8.2.11ax and will succeed 802.11ac with some considerable improvements. Wi-Fi 6 will have 37% higher ostensible data rate as compared to Wi-Fi 5, will run eight 5GHz streams and four 2.4 GHz streams.

The new Wi-Fi version promises faster speed and increased user throughput even when multiple devices are connected.

As far as the nomenclature is concerned, Wi-Fi Alliance has said that every major company that manufacturers Wi-Fi related equipment have to follow the newly introduced naming scheme.

The Alliance will also make sure that branding of Wi-Fi routers and the versions displayed in the advertisements is simpler one. Moreover, the earlier versions of the Wi-Fi will also be referred with their simpler names from now onwards.

Also Read: Razer Claims Sila Is The “Fastest Gaming Router” Out There
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Anmol is a tech journalist who handles reportage of cybersecurity and Apple and OnePlus devices at Fossbytes. He's an ambivert who is striving hard to appease existential crisis by eating, writing, and scrolling through memes.