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The next generation of wireless networking will be called WiFi 6

WiFi naming is about to get easier to understand.

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Not all WiFi is created equal, and determining which generation of WiFi technology your devices use can be pretty complicated. Did you know that 802.11n predates 802.11ac, for example? For those that don't, the Wi-Fi Alliance is about to make things easier, introducing the next version of WiFi -- 802.11ax -- simply as "WiFi 6."

The new approach is designed to help manufacturers, operators and users more easily market and understand the presence of advanced WiFi capabilities in their devices, so companies have a more straightforward way to tout their products, and consumers know when their stuff is as up-to-date as possible.

Wi-Fi logos

The roll-out includes "WiFi 4" naming for 802.11n and "WiFi 5" for 802.11ac. While the terminology doesn't have to be used by relevant parties in any regulatory sense, the Wi-Fi Alliance does expect it to be widely adopted by the WiFi ecosystem -- it is considerably easier, after all.