WiFi Turns 25!

  • 1997–802.11 — This initial standard supported a maximum speed of 2Mbps and used the 2.4GHz spectrum.
  • 1999–802.11b and 802.11a — These updates to the initial standard increased the maximum speed to 11 Mbps and was the first widely adopted WiFi standard among home users. Later that year, speed increased to 54Mbps in the 5Ghz band but wasn’t widely used in home networks due to the adoption of 802.11b instead.
  • 2003–802.11g — This WiFi update allowed up to 54Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and became widely adopted in homes and businesses.
  • 2008–802.11n — With this big update to 802.11, commonly called ‘WiFi 4,’ the maximum speed increased to a theoretical 600Mbps on either the 2.4GHz or 5GHz bands.
  • 2014–802.11ac — The ‘WiFi 5’ update supported a range of speeds from 433 to 1100Mbps on the 5 GHz band.
  • 2019/2020–802.11ax — ‘WiFi 6’ and ‘WiFi 6E’ yet increased speeds to 600 to 9608Mbps data rates on the 2.4, 5 or even 6GHz bands.
  • TBD — 802.11be — ‘WiFi 7’ is right around the corner and promises 40Gbps data rate under ideal conditions.



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Tod Caflisch

Tod Caflisch


Smart Home technology visionary with passion for out of the box solutions for home technology integrations, focusing on efficiency, safety and sustainability.