Just when you finished getting use to the last wifi technology a new one is about to take over. If you have a laptop or cell phone it’s currently using the 802.11ac (or older 802.11n) standard. In non tech terms these technologies determine the speed and range of your devices network connection. You can see how this has evolved over the years with the chart below.
Now a new standard is about to breakout which will provide even more speed and range. Called 802.11ax it promises 4x the speed, improved performance in congested environments, better range, and battery life improvements for mobile devices. Some devices are already out using the draft specifications but we should see much more in Q1 of 2019 when everything is finalized and everywhere in 2020.
Do I need to hold off on my wifi purchases?
If you are consumer the simple answer is no. Having an 802.11ax device will not matter if the wireless network does not support it. If you are a SMB looking to upgrade from an older 802.11n wireless infrastructure the answer is also no. 802.11ac Wave 2 devices should do the trick.
If you are a larger business with multiple wifi access points and a complex infrastructure then maybe. 802.11ax will see the most benefits in congested wireless environments such as cities or large office parks or where distances are greater (e.g., campus environments). If you can wait a year we would recommend waiting to upgrade when the standard is finalized, products are released, and the first firmware updates have been put out (fix those version 1 bugs).
Like always, if you have any questions about technology or your wifi environment please feel to give us a ring at 781-679-0660 or via email.