WiFi The Ni is High WiFiTheNiIsHigh

WiFi The Ni is High WiFiTheNiIsHigh in all the confusion over the WiFi and the version numbers 802.11b, 802.11a etc etc etc, let’s explain what is going on.

For the most part of 2019 we’re now getting new names as we moved away from the version numbers which can be a bit hard to keep remembering on what the hell is going on.

Old Name New Name Introduced Max. Speed Bands
802.11b “Wi-Fi 1” (unofficial) 1999 11Mbps 2.4GHz
802.11a “Wi-Fi 2” (unofficial) 1999 54Mbps 5GHz
802.11g “Wi-Fi 3” (unofficial) 2003 54Mbps 2.4GHz
802.11n Wi-Fi 4 2009 600Mbps 2.4GHz and 5GHz
802.11ac Wi-Fi 5 2013 3.46Gbps 5GHz
802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 2018/2019 10.53Gbps 2.4GHz and 5GHz


So for 2019 we now move into WiFi 6.

So, Should You Upgrade Now?

The short answer is, probably not. You can find a handful of Wi-Fi 6 routers on the market right now. More are showing up every day, and they are all backward-compatible with previous-generation clients. But to realize the faster speeds, improved range, reduced power consumption, and other benefits that you get with Wi-Fi 6, you’ll have to use Wi-Fi 6-enabled clients, and as of this post there are very few many devices that already handle the WiFi 6.

Devices that support the latest protocol are just starting to roll out, but keep in mind that even those are using a form that is still in draft. PCs with Intel Ice Lake CPUs will support the protocol, but those are just now slowly starting to go on sale. Smartphones with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 processor, including the OnePlus 7 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S10, also support Wi-Fi 6. If you don’t have a Wi-Fi 6-enabled device, there are also aftermarket adapters available.

As of this post you’ve to remember that WiFi is still in its draft format and hasn’t been finalized as concrete. Until that happens we’re all still sitting on WiFi 5.