Wi-Fi Alliance Renames Wireless Standards

AlphaAtlas

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In order to "help users identify devices that provide the latest Wi-Fi experience," the Wi-Fi alliance decided to rebrand past wireless standards. IEEE 802.11n is called "Wi-Fi 4", 802.11ac is "Wi-Fi 5", and 802.11ax will be called "Wi-Fi 6." In addition to the new names, the organization is also encouraging developers an manufacturers to prominently display the type of Wi-Fi connection in device UIs.


"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, president and CEO of Wi-Fi Alliance. "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."
 

halo000008

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When I read the headline, I was thinking it would be even more convoluted. Glad I was wrong.
 

Dead Parrot

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Not sure why they made it so complicated in the first place...

IIRC, WiFi originally started as an experiment and it got out of control. The 2.4Ghz band it started in was a free fire zone for unlicensed experimentation and wasn't ever meant for commercial applications. That's one of the reasons the 2.4 band has so many different gizmos all using the same frequencies. Then they were stuck with maintaining backwards compatibility and the sad fact that 2.4 usually works better for longer distance then the newer higher frequencies.
 

Nobu

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Not sure why they made it so complicated in the first place...
It's not really that complicated... IEEE is the standards body, 802 deals wit LANs and metro networks. 802.11 deals specifically with wireless networks. The letters they append on the end simply refer to additions "ammendments" to that specification (they could have used revisions instead, v1, v2, etc...dunno why they didn't).
 

ir0nw0lf

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It's not really that complicated... IEEE is the standards body, 802 deals wit LANs and metro networks. 802.11 deals specifically with wireless networks. The letters they append on the end simply refer to additions to that specification (they could have used revisions instead, v1, v2, etc...dunno why they didn't).
If you were to tell that to John Q Public the computer user who knows how to turn the machine on/off and not much beyond that, their head will likely explode or you will get the glazed over look. :D I get that reaction trying to explain CPU cores and HT/SMT to them.
 

pcgeekesq

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Not sure why they made it so complicated in the first place...
WiFi isn't a linear progression of standards, it's a collection of them, many of which were developed in parallel and only address a limited part of the standard (like association of a STA with an AP). Adoption of various parts of the standard is up to manufacturers: a home AP doesn't need some of the stuff that was developed for WANs for example. Periodically, they get rolled-up, the last time in 2016 I think.
 
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Taldren

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This is going to be more complicated than they believe.

For instance, they are stating that 802.11ax is now "6", but what of the now defunct 802.11ad standard? I only ask because they are assigning the known winners right now in this scheme ... but in the future that isn't going to be possible. So we will have gaps where a new standard showed up, assigned a number, and then went the way of 802.11ad. So it will look like: 4 , 5 , 6 , 9 , 12 , 14.
 

Nobu

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If you were to tell that to John Q Public the computer user who knows how to turn the machine on/off and not much beyond that, their head will likely explode or you will get the glazed over look. :D I get that reaction trying to explain CPU cores and HT/SMT to them.
To them, I'd just say "you need 802.11n" and be done with it. If they asked why not "xa" or whatever, I'd tell them "because that's the standard your router supports". Seems pretty simple to me.
 

sboucher

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This is going to be more complicated than they believe.

For instance, they are stating that 802.11ax is now "6", but what of the now defunct 802.11ad standard? I only ask because they are assigning the known winners right now in this scheme ... but in the future that isn't going to be possible. So we will have gaps where a new standard showed up, assigned a number, and then went the way of 802.11ad. So it will look like: 4 , 5 , 6 , 9 , 12 , 14.

Doubt it, they probably won't call 7, 7, until it's ready for the public. The ones in between will likely use codenames.
 

MikeRotch

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As other's have mentioned, standards ALWAYS get amended. They also sometimes get released in waves.

This is good in theory until we get names like WiFi 7.2.343
 

raz-0

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This is going to be more complicated than they believe.

For instance, they are stating that 802.11ax is now "6", but what of the now defunct 802.11ad standard? I only ask because they are assigning the known winners right now in this scheme ... but in the future that isn't going to be possible. So we will have gaps where a new standard showed up, assigned a number, and then went the way of 802.11ad. So it will look like: 4 , 5 , 6 , 9 , 12 , 14.

And?

Joe Consumer will go to best buy to replace his wi-fi 9 router, and see wi-fi 14 on the shelf and buy the newer one, which will likely say on the box compatible with wifi4, wifi5, wif6, etc. Joe will go hmm... mine says wifi4. It says wifi4 It's good to go.

It's easier to remember than jumbles of numbers and letters.
 

Nobu

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And?

Joe Consumer will go to best buy to replace his wi-fi 9 router, and see wi-fi 14 on the shelf and buy the newer one, which will likely say on the box compatible with wifi4, wifi5, wif6, etc. Joe will go hmm... mine says wifi4. It says wifi4 It's good to go.

It's easier to remember than jumbles of numbers and letters.
All you have to remember is the letter though? You already know you're looking for a wireless adapter/router, either you know which standard you're looking for or you don't, regardless of what jumble of letters are thrown together (including wifi6). Later amendments aren't necessarily better or exclusive to prior ones, and so you'd still have wifi679 or somesuch nonsense.
 
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raz-0

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All you have to remember is the letter though? You already know you're looking for a wireless adapter/router, either you know which standard you're looking for or you don't, regardless of what jumble of letters are thrown together (including wifi6). Later amendments aren't necessarily better or exclusive to prior ones, and so you'd still have wifi679 or somesuch nonsense.


You don't say?

Here's all the standards
802.11a
802.11b
802.11g
802.11-2007
802.11n
802.11-2012
802.11ac
802.11ad
802.11af
802.11-2016
802.11ah
802.11ai
802.11aj
802.11aq
802.11ax
802.11ay


Which ones are backwards compatible with which? It's ascending letters, so 802.11n should cover ac right? Because n > a. Correct? No? The naming convention is fucking stupid, in part because they broke it. If they hadn't broken it, it's still long and cumbersome and harder to remember.

Whenever the IEEE standard gets widely adopted instead of being some codified whim of the comittee that the market never really supports, you give it a wifi# name and logo. Just slap the logos on the boxes. Done.

Mold the logo into the damn device, display the logo in the OS under peripherals, put is as one of those stickers certain people never remove from their laptops. Make it simple.

You and I have no issues with it. But this shit is foreign to the average person. There's nothing wrong with the average consumer not having to know how convoluted IEEE processes can get.
 

Nobu

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You don't say?

Here's all the standards
802.11a
802.11b
802.11g
802.11-2007
802.11n
802.11-2012
802.11ac
802.11ad
802.11af
802.11-2016
802.11ah
802.11ai
802.11aj
802.11aq
802.11ax
802.11ay


Which ones are backwards compatible with which? It's ascending letters, so 802.11n should cover ac right? Because n > a. Correct? No? The naming convention is fucking stupid, in part because they broke it. If they hadn't broken it, it's still long and cumbersome and harder to remember.

Whenever the IEEE standard gets widely adopted instead of being some codified whim of the comittee that the market never really supports, you give it a wifi# name and logo. Just slap the logos on the boxes. Done.

Mold the logo into the damn device, display the logo in the OS under peripherals, put is as one of those stickers certain people never remove from their laptops. Make it simple.

You and I have no issues with it. But this shit is foreign to the average person. There's nothing wrong with the average consumer not having to know how convoluted IEEE processes can get.
Which of those are on actual products sold today? a, b, c, g, ac (which is actually just a and c together) and n. And most products say "with wireless n technology for fastest speeds" or some bs like that, and "also compatible with..." just like it'll be with the new names, except now you have either 802.11n or "wifi#" and unless you know or they say "802.11n compatible" you'll be just as lost as before.
 

4884

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help users identify devices that provide the latest Wi-Fi experience
Many people, should I say most people, just think internet = wi-fi.
They wouldn't know or care what kind of wi-fi they're using.
I shit you not a friend of mine couldn't get her head around the idea of me getting internet on my PC with a cable.
 

Makaveli@BETA

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Many people, should I say most people, just think internet = wi-fi.
They wouldn't know or care what kind of wi-fi they're using.
I shit you not a friend of mine couldn't get her head around the idea of me getting internet on my PC with a cable.

She sounds like someone that shouldn't be using a PC.

One click away from giving her money away to a Nigerian prince.
 

Makaveli@BETA

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It may surprise you how non-techie people are oblivious of the most basic computer knowledge we deem as "common sense"
And sadly they are the majority of the population.
Not surprised at all.

My profession is IT at every placed I've worked everyone out side of the department pretty much thinks you are a wizard if you open a command prompt and run a few basic commands.

Things I was doing when I was 12 in a dos prompt.
 
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