Thursday, 19 September, 2019

New Wi-Fi names make it easier to understand

Image Credit Intel Image Credit Intel
Rhonda Young | 07 October, 2018, 15:56

These odd naming schemes are part of the way the IEEE categorizes these standards, with 802 being local networks, 802.11 is wireless local networks, and the a/b/g/n/ac are different feature sets of those standards. In the 20 years since 802.11b arrived, we've seen numerous new standards pushed out, though not all of them apply to home networking kit.

The introduction of 802.11g in 2003 (54Mb/s) and 802.11n in 2009 (a whopping 600Mb/s) were both significant moments in the history of Wi-Fi.

Wi-Fi 6: 802.11 ax (2019). Meanwhile, the Wi-Fi logo gained add-ons that referred nearly exclusively to standards governing spectrum usage and bandwidth rates. A lot of recent improvements, including those arriving with Wi-Fi 6, involve some clever engineering to squeeze more bandwidth out of the existing 2.4GHz and 5GHz your router already employs.

According to the Wi-Fi Alliance, the new naming standard "helps the industry and users more easily understand the generation of Wi-Fi supported by their device or connection". The following variant of Wi-Fi, which generally would have been called 802.11ax will be now be just named Wi-Fi 6 since it is the 6th era of Wi-Fi. The group has made a decision to change the name of the 802.11ax to Wi-Fi 6, and retroactively rename 802.11n and 802.11ac to Wi-Fi 4 and Wi-Fi 5, respectively.

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The filing and store closures are meant to help the company "strengthen its balance sheet and optimize its store footprint". It's two largest debts are $64.7 million to Simmons Manufacturing Company, and $25.5 million to Serta Mattress Company.

The Wi-Fi standards that exist at the moment are being renamed and there's a new name for the upcoming Wi-Fi standard (802.11ax), which will be called Wi-Fi 6.

Wi-Fi 4 means 802.11n technology - many people will have networking gear based on 802.11n, but it was replaced by 802.11ac in many new routers from 2013 on.

If you are wondering where Wi-Fi 1, 2 and 3 are, they didn't make the cut, likely because they are now considered too old to worry about. Roughly speaking, you can look forward to 4x to 10x speed increases in your Wi-Fi.

Fun Friday fact: What is the name of the technology behind Wi-Fi that most of us use on a daily basis?

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"NETGEAR welcomes an easy way to highlight for customers what level of Wi-Fi technology they are using". I've been writing about Wi-Fi since 2000, and it has always been a pain to explain what the letters and numbers mean because most people don't really need-or want-to know anything but "this works with that at the highest speed of X Mbps".

How long that takes is going to depend on hardware manufacturers, software developers, internet service providers, and everyone else in the industry.

There have been problems getting Wi-Fi 6 to the final stage.

Bear in mind that it's also going to take a while for this to roll out properly. It also operates the certification programme that lets them qualify their devices as Wi-Fi compatible.

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Production has fallen around 700,000 b/d in the past year. "We're looking at others that we can impose as well", Bolton said. The ministry has, however, avoided providing any concrete estimates of crude output levels over the coming months.

If you think about the number of smart speakers and smart lights and streaming dongles set up in the modern-day home, anything that adds more capacity to the network is going to help.

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