Wi-Fi 6 officially launches today, a few days ahead of availability of the iPhone 11, which supports the new, faster standard…

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Previously, consumers have had to grapple with very unintuitive names to work out whether a device supported the latest Wi-Fi standard. It’s almost a year ago since we learned this was set to change.

The previous generation, supported by most of today’s devices, was known as 802.11ac. The latest generation is officially 802.11ax — but the Wi-Fi Alliance last year recognized that this was all too confusing, so decided the consumer-facing name would instead be Wi-Fi 6. It also rebranded earlier iterations.

  • Wi-Fi 6 to identify devices that support 802.11ax technology
  • Wi-Fi 5 to identify devices that support 802.11ac technology
  • Wi-Fi 4 to identify devices that support 802.11n technology

As of today, manufacturers can have compatible devices certified to use the “Wi-Fi 6 Certified” label. The iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro/Max will qualify.

In addition to offering faster speeds, Wi-Fi 6 also offers longer-range, reduced battery consumption and greater security, as well as better management of multiple devices connected to a single Wi-Fi router or hotspot. This latter feature is of particular benefit to enterprise networks.

Of course, the Wi-Fi Alliance couldn’t let the terminology get too friendly, so technically the certification label is Wi-Fi Certified 6…

Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 provides the foundation for a host of current and emerging uses from streaming ultra high-definition movies, to mission-critical business applications requiring high bandwidth and low latency, to staying connected and productive while traversing large, congested networks in airports and train stations.

Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6, the industry certification program based on the IEEE 802.11ax standard, provides the capacity, efficiency, coverage, and performance required by users today in the most demanding Wi-Fi environments. Emphasizing quality connectivity in locations with hundreds or thousands of connected devices such as stadiums and other public venues, as well as corporate networks utilizing time-sensitive, high bandwidth applications, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 networks ensure each connected device performs at an optimum level. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 devices meet the highest standards for security and interoperability, and enable lower battery consumption, making it a solid choice for any environment, including the Internet of Things (IoT).

The iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max went on pre-order on September 13, and will be available to customers on September 20. We’ll of course be bringing you our impressions.

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