30 Seconds Read: WiFi Versions

Happy Sunday! Fact check- Did you know the explication for WiFi is Wireless Fidelity? That’s correct, not wireless network, but wireless fidelity. Well, seems like name is not the only confusing thing about WiFi, which brings me to my next point “WiFi Versions”.


IEEE released the first version of 802.11 standard in 1997- now obsolete. Thank goodness because it offered terrible speed! But as any invention things started to get better with every new release. Before we move further, note that the frequency bandwidth of 5GHz offer high speed but low coverage and 2.4GHz offers low speed but high coverage, meaning every version has it’s pros and cons-

📌802.11b (WiFi 1)- Offered data speed of 11Mbps in 2.4GHz frequency band.

📌802.11a (WiFi 2)- Offered data speed of 54Mbps in 5GHz frequency band.

📌802.11g (WiFi 3)- Offers data speed of 54Mbps for 2.4GHz. Meaning it provides speed of 802.11a and coverage of 802.11b making it the best of it’s time. Since WiFi 3 runs on 2.4GHz signal, it is backward compatible with WiFi 1 devices. Obviously it will bottleneck the speed limit for WiFi 1 devices according to their standards due to hardware capacity limitations.

📌802.11n (WiFi 4)- Offers a speed range of 300 Mbps-600Mbps in frequency range of 2.4GHz – 5GHz. It offers a speed of 300Mbps for 2.4GHz frequency and 600Mbps for 5GHz frequency. IEEE also introduced a feature called MIMO, enabling it to establish connection with multiple devices at the same time.

📌802.11ac (WiFi 5)- Offers speed of 400Mbps (1Gbps) with 5GHz. Since it doesn’t offer 2.4GHz band, it is not backward compatible with 802.11b and 802.11g devices. Bummer😌

📌802.11ax (WiFi 6)- Cutting edge technology and offers data speed from 3.4Gbps to 14Gbps theoretically with 2.4GHz as well as 5GHz, making it backward compatible with every older version. It comes with cooler technologies like MIMO, BSS coloring and TWT. As mentioned earlier, MIMO serves multiple devices at the same time; BSS coloring provides better signal quality by preventing signal collision; and the best one of all, TWT-Target Wakeup Time: this feature deserves a fresh post but for now just thank it for protecting your device’s battery☺️

Follow @codejammies on instagram to get updates on my new posts. Until next time! Ciao🦦

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