Embrace Change with Wi-Fi 6

It might not be universal, but in general, people hate change. Even when a change makes sense, and you’ve been putting up with something just because that’s the way it has always been. You’ll often still find yourself bemoaning a disruption to the status quo.

That’s certainly what I’ve come to realize when the Wi-Fi Alliance announced that they were largely sunsetting the familiar 802.11%% Wi-Fi labels in favor of a more simplified numbering system. At first I bristled at the notion, like they were talking down to consumers. But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense.

Why were we still using the old IEEE protocol amendments to describe our Wi-Fi? Sure I guess you could go and look those up for more information on the latest generation of Wi-Fi, but has that ever been something a consumer has wanted to do?

In the end, this change will only make it clearer to consumers what they are getting when purchasing a router. That’s not a bad thing. What would be 802.11ax will be Wi-Fi 6, with the previous protocols retconned to Wi-Fi 5 and 4.

As long as router makes don’t take a cue from AT&T and start blatantly mislabeling what they’re offering, I think in a few years, we’ll be wondering why we put up with the clunky old 802.11 names for so long.

Rowell Dionicio comments:

Purchasing wireless devices will become easier for those who are not necessarily up-to-date with the technology lingo.

But take caution on trusting a device is Wi-Fi 6. 802.11ax is not a standard yet. It is still a draft at the time of this writing.

Read more at: Wi-Fi 6: What It Means To You

About the author

Rich Stroffolino

Rich has been a tech enthusiast since he first used the speech simulator on a Magnavox Odyssey². Current areas of interest include ZFS, the false hopes of memristors, and the oral history of Transmeta.