Wi-Fi standards past, present and future: things you need to know

Wi-Fi is an essential part of our society, and is part of our day to day. Today we take many things for granted in this regard, we have become accustomed to it working well and offering excellent performance even when we have several devices connected, but this has not always been the case.

Originally, this technology had some major shortcomings, and only with the passage of time and with the development of new standards have they been surpassed. Its evolution It has been very interestingand has marked very clear turning points that today we want to share with you in this article, where we will see one by one the different Wi-Fi standards that exist.

To make this article more useful and easy to consult, I have made a distinction between Wi-Fi standards that we can consider as obsolete and others who are most advanced and that are the present or the future of the sector. As always, if after reading the article you have any questions, you can leave them in the comments.

Outdated Wi-Fi standards


  • IEEE802.11: the standard that serves as the basis for communication in wireless networks. The first standard of the year 1997 allowed to transfer data to 1Mbps He identifies himself as the “grandfather” of this technology
  • IEEE802.11a: was developed on the basis of the IEEE 802.11 standard. He arrived in 1999, he worked in the band of 5GHz and reached a top speed of 54Mbps It is identified as WiFi 2.
  • IEEE802.11b: was the first standard developed in the late 1990s. It is capable of transferring dice to a maximum of 11Mbps in the band of 2.4GHz It is identified as WiFi 1. You should be careful with it as it can mess up your Wi-Fi connection.
  • IEEE802.11g: also uses the band of 2.4GHz. With this standard, the maximum transmission speed was increased up to 54Mbps. It arrived from 2003. It is identified as WiFi 3.

Standards used today

  • IEEE802.11n: Ratified in September 2009. Works on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands and reaches speeds up to 600Mbps It is identified as WiFi 4.
  • IEEE802.11ac: It was standardized in late 2013. It operates in the 5 GHz band and can reach speeds of 1,300Mbps It is identified as WiFi 5.
  • IEEE802.11ax: a breakthrough that reaches speeds of up to 10Gbps It is identified as WiFi 6.

Standards that will be the future

  • IEEE802.11be: it will be the next big leap in Wi-Fi connectivity. It will work on the 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6 GHz bands, promising speeds of up to 30Gbps This will be identified as WiFi 7. This standard is already starting to take its first steps in test environments, and will start to be available between the end of 2023 and the beginning of 2024.

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