Wi-Fi ax (Wi-Fi 6) - brief definition


The current Wi-Fi standard IEEE 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) achieves speeds of up to 9.6 GBit/s and is more efficient, secure and energy-saving thanks to OFDMA and additional features.


Whether smartphone, tablet or notebook: Nowadays, every mobile device is equipped with Wi-Fi. The fast Wi-Fi standard 802.11ax achieves speeds that are many times higher than those of older standards.

Was does Wi-Fi ax mean?


Since the introduction of standardised Wi-Fi in 1997, mobile devices have been working with the IEEE 802.11 standard. In the following years, this has been expanded again and again. The current IEEE 802.11ax standard – also known as Wi-Fi 6 – achieves high speeds of up to 9.6 Gbit/s.


In addition, it is much more multitasking-friendly than earlier standards: OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access), for example, allows for more efficient transmission of data packets. Other features such as TWT (Target Wake Time), BSS-Coloring and WPA3 improve on energy efficiency, conflict avoidance in the home network and general security.


Learn more: The features of Wi-Fi 6


Router auf dem Schreibtisch und Mann steht neben an mit einem Smartphone in der Hand
history of wifi standards from wifi 1 to wifi 6

Overview: past and current Wi-Fi standards


  • 802.11: The standard from 1999 achieved speeds of around 2 MBits/s.
  • 802.11b: This extension dates back to 1999 and operates in the 2.4 GHz frequency band. The maximum data rate is at 11 MBit/s.
  • 802.11g: In 2003, the Wi-Fi standard 802.11g was defined, achieving speeds of up to 54 MBit/s in the 2.4 GHz band.
  • 802.11n: For the first time ever, this Wi-Fi standard from 2009 worked with the innovative MIMO technology, achieving maximum speeds of up to 600 MBits/s in dual-band operation at 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.
  • 802.11ac: The Wi-Fi standard ac has been in use since 2013 and achieves maximum Wi-Fi speeds of just under 7 GBit/s. The shorter transmission time reduces energy consumption.
  • 802.11ax: The current Wi-Fi standard ax (Wi-Fi 6) boasts with transfer rates of up to 9.6 GBit/s and multitasking features such as OFDMA.

Wi-Fi ax and backward compatibility


Wi-Fi ax devices are backwards compatible with older Wi-Fi standards. This means: If you get a router, repeater or powerline product that supports the current Wi-Fi 6, your older devices of earlier Wi-Fi standards will continue to function normally within the home network. However, the maximum performance is only achieved if both transmitter and receiver support the 802.11ax standard.