- The most commonly used wireless communications technology
- The primary medium for global internet traffic
- A driver of $3.3 trillion USD in global economic value
- Growing, with more than 4 billion devices shipping annually and 16 billion devices in use
For two decades Wi-Fi has changed the way the world operates and communicates. Wi-Fi technology, based on the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) wireless communication standard 802.11, has continually improved, with each generation bringing faster speeds, lower latency, and better user experiences in a multitude of environments and with a variety of device types.
Identifying Wi-Fi device technology
To help users identify devices that provide the latest Wi-Fi experience, Wi-Fi Alliance introduced simplified generational names that may appear in device names and product descriptions. The latest generation of Wi-Fi, based on the IEEE 802.11ax standard, is known as Wi-Fi 6, which includes devices that can operate in the 6 GHz band, referred to as Wi-Fi 6E.
Identifying Wi-Fi network connections
Wi-Fi devices may also use a user interface (UI) visual on the display to identify the generation of a network connection. The visuals will display a Wi-Fi signal indicator and a numerical representation of the connection. UI visuals will adjust as users move between Wi-Fi networks that provide a different user experience. When a device displays a signal indicator visual accompanied by the number 6, indicating a Wi-Fi 6 connection, that device is utilizing the most advanced version of Wi-Fi available.
To learn more about how to use the generation names and user interface visuals, please review the Generational Wi-Fi User Guide.