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Wi-Fi Standard and Compatibility: The Basics

The Wi-Fi standard is one of the most important elements of our wireless Internet connection. Aspects such as the range and speed of our connection will depend on it, but also the performance when we have several connected devices, compatibility and security.

Our more advanced readers are already aware of all this, and they know that there are different Wi-Fi standards with different levels of performance, security and compatibility, but for those with less knowledge, and also for those that are now being introduced in the world, we have decided to do a special where we will give you a series of basic, but very important notions, about the Wi-Fi standard.

As always, if after finishing reading the article you have any questions, you can leave them in the comments and we will help you solve them. Without further ado, we begin.

Estándar Wi-Fi

Things you should know about the Wi-Fi standard

  • The Wi-Fi standard is the protocol that allows to connect , wirelessly, a device to a router (or other network solution).
  • For this connection to be possible, both the router and the device we want to connect must be compatible with the Wi-Fi standard we want to use.
  • The more advanced Wi-Fi standards are more reliable, faster , and are better suited to multi-device environments.
  • A newer and more advanced Wi-Fi standard will always be backward compatible with all of the above, but not the other way around.
  • Backward compatibility represents an interesting value, but also can be detrimental , as the Wi-Fi 3 and Wi-Fi 1 standards can slow down our entire network.
  • In order to access a new Wi-Fi standard it is necessary to use new hardware . Thus, if we have a router compatible with Wi-Fi 5 and a smartphone compatible with that standard, but we want to access Wi-Fi 6, we will need a new router, and a new smartphone.
  • It is not possible to enable support for higher Wi-Fi standards via software. If someone offers it to you, ignore it, it may be an attempt to sneak malware.
  • Today, we can enjoy an optimal experience with the Wi-Fi 5 standard, although the Wi-Fi 6 standard offers very important advantages , as we told you at the time.
  • Each standard operates in a different band and is therefore more or less vulnerable to obstacles and interference. They also offer a different scope. Wi-Fi 5, for example, works in the 5 GHz band, so it suffers less interference.


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