Which WiFi standard do I need?


TS Ambassador
There's lots of hype and speculation on the advent of WiFi 6 so it's time to straight talk networking.

digitalcitizen.life has a nice summary of WiFi frequencies and technologies:

  • Wi-Fi 802.11n is also referred to as Wi-Fi 4.
  • 802.11n allows the use of two radio frequency bands,
  • 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, and can deliver data transfer speeds of up to 600 Mbps.

  • Wi-Fi 802.11ac is also known as Wi-Fi 5.
  • The 802.11ac is the most common wireless standard today,
  • as most routers sold during the last few years are
  • 802.11ac-compatible. This standard, just like the 802.11n
  • before it, supports MU-MIMO, but it can offer maximum
  • data transfer speeds of up to 2.3 Gbps. The 802.11ac standard
  • works only on the 5 GHz frequency band but most of the wireless
  • routers that support it also offer support for the 802.11n
  • standard on the 2.4 GHz frequency band

  • 802.11ax is also referred to as Wi-Fi 6.
  • 802.11ax or IEEE802.11ax is a wireless networking standard that
  • is still in the works and has not yet been approved.
  • It is expected that it will be finalized and approved sometime during late 2019,
  • This is the LOWER END of the two implementations proposed and will have the greatest range

  • 802.11ad is a wireless networking standard that is also known as WiGig or 60 GHz Wi-Fi.
  • However, because it works on a microwave range frequency (mmWave length), it has
  • the significant disadvantage of not being able to pass through
  • walls and has a range of only 3 to 32 feet (1 to 10 meters).
  • It is "lightning fast," but it is designed to cover only one room
  • when no walls or obstacles stand in the way.

Whereas, an approved 802.11ax has yet to be established -- AT LEAST await the approved standard before investing in new infrastructure equipment.
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