Say hello to 802.11ax: Wi-Fi 6 device certification begins today

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Enlarge / Wi-Fi connects the world together, but it's still quite complicated. (credit: Aurich Lawson)

Today, the Wi-Fi Alliance launched its Wi-Fi Certified 6 program, which means that the standard has been completely finalized, and device manufacturers and OEMs can begin the process of having the organization certify their products to carry the Wi-Fi 6 branding.
If you need a bit of a catch-up, Wi-Fi 6—aka 802.11ax—is the next generation of Wi-Fi. 802.11ax will, at least in theory, allow many more nearby devices to use the same Wi-Fi channels and frequencies without causing as much congestion and lag as Wi-Fi 5 (better known as 802.11ac) and Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n) do. That's the good news. The bad news is that very few of these benefits can be seen just from buying a Wi-Fi 6 router—you need most, if not all, of the devices in range (both yours and, ideally, any neighbors') to also support Wi-Fi 6 before you see the improvements.
802.11ax also mandates support for the WPA3 encryption and authentication protocol. WPA3 provides considerably better security for your Wi-Fi network than WPA2 did, and due to its adoption of Simultaneous Authentication of Equals (SAE), it will hopefully prove more robust toward future attacks as well.

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