For almost a year now, since the Wi-Fi Alliance took the make-life-easier initiative, we’ve been using “Wi-Fi 6” as the new name for the latest 802.11ax Wi-Fi standard. Starting today that title is official.
Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 is here
The Wi-Fi Alliance just announced that it had completed the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 program which certifies qualified devices as official supporters of the new Wi-Fi standard. As a result, they can carry the “Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6” label and accepted as part of the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 networks.
Generally, Wi-Fi devices of all standards work with one another by default. However, according to the Wi-Fi Alliance, “Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 networks ensure each connected device performs at an optimum level.” In short, when certified by the Alliance, they work better with one another.
To be qualified for the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED badge, a Wi-Fi device needs to pass the Wi-Fi Alliance’s rigorous testing. Also, its networking vendor has to be a member of the Alliance, which carries a membership fee.
What does it mean to you?
As users, there’s nothing you need to do. However, you can expect the next Wi-Fi 6 device you purchase, like the iPhone 11, to be Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6-compliant. You might also see the standard numbers attached to a Wi-Fi network. Also, maybe it’s time to start thinking about getting a Wi-Fi 6 router. Though, keep in mind, Wi-Fi 6 clients work well with a Wi-Fi 5 router.
By the way, if you have purchased a Wi-Fi 6 router before this, such as the Asus GT-AX11000, or the Netgear RAX120, rest assured that they can be upgraded to Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 status via a firmware update.