The number of 802.11 wireless networking standards has grown over the years and the Wifi Alliance has recently decided to simplify the traditional alphabet soup into generational integers (Wifi 4, 5, 6 etc).

An article on Network Computing defines the many variants of 802.11 standards past, present and future…

In the world of wireless, the term Wi-Fi is synonymous with wireless access in general, despite the fact that it is a specific trademark owned by the Wi-Fi Alliance, a group dedicated to certifying that Wi-Fi products meet the IEEE’s set of 802.11 wireless standards.

These standards, with names such as 802.11b (pronounced “Eight-O-Two-Eleven-Bee”, ignore the “dot”) and 802.11ac, comprise a family of specifications that started in the 1990s and continues to grow today. The 802.11 standards codify improvements that boost wireless throughput and range as well as the use of new frequencies as they  become available. They also address new technologies that reduce power consumption.

Keith Shaw via Network Computing

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