What is the latest version of Wi-Fi?
It is — Wi-Fi is 802.11ax.
The Wi-Fi Alliance—the group that manages the implementation of Wi-Fi—has announced that the next version of Wi-Fi standard, which is 802.11ax, will use a simpler naming scheme and will be called Wi-Fi 6.
Wi-Fi 6, based on the IEEE 802.11ax standard, will offer higher data rates, increased capacity, good performance—even in dense environments (such as stadiums or public venues) and improved power efficiency, making it perfect choice for smart home and IoT uses).
Another improvement Wi-Fi 6 will bring is improved efficiency, which means a lower power draw, which means less of a strain on battery life (or lower figures on your electricity bill).
Wi-Fi 6 can now divide a wireless channel into a large number of subchannels. Each of these subchannels can carry data intended for a different device. This is achieved through something called Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access, or OFDMA. The Wi-Fi access point can talk to more devices at once.
The new riderless standard also has improved MIMO—Multiple In/Multiple Out. This involves multiple antennas, which let the access point talk to multiple devices at once. With Wi-Fi 5, the access point could talk to devices at the same time, but those devices couldn’t respond at the same time. Wi-Fi 6 has an improved version of multi-user or MU-MIMO that lets devices respond to the wireless access point at the same time.
When Will You Get It?
Some routers may already advertise “802.11ax technology,” but Wi-Fi 6 isn’t finalized and here yet. There also aren’t any Wi-Fi 6 client devices available yet, either.
The Wi-Fi Alliance expects the standard to be finalized and hardware to be released sometime in 2019.
A Brief History of Wi-Fi