Actually, they do. Every now and then they update the spec and add the year to the name. For example, I believe the latest is 802.11-2016. Regardless, with this new scheme, the higher number indicates newer.Wish that there was a standard for naming every revision - sort of like ISO documentation - just give it a name for the year when it was created - like 2018v1 or something to understand what is the latest or how old it is.
Newer but not necessarily better. Some standards don't even apply to consumer devices but are for specialized applications such car to car communications. Others are country specific, such as 802.11aj which only works in China. In addition, there are three 802.11 standards for 2018 and two for several other years. Using only the year hides the specifics and could result in people being sold devices that have useless features or don't work for the intended application.For example, I believe the latest is 802.11-2016. Regardless, with this new scheme, the higher number indicates newer.
How is that different from now? You can buy good equipment or cheap equipment, no matter what it's called.Some will sell products based on the wifi number and not on real world performance of the product.
This is one area where people often buy better than needed. Gigabit was designed for CAT5, before 5e was available. There's no need for CAT6 at 1G. CAT6 is needed for 10 Gb, with 6a required to go the full 100M. There's nothing in the consumer market that requires 7. Then again, there are people who buy Monster cables.Speaking of cables, I'm seeing CAT7 and CAT7a cable for sale. It's just a minor upgrade to CAT6a but it's available now.
This is where backwards compatibility is nice. Just configure the AP to support the lowest speed you need for your equipment to minimize the performance hit. All WiFi we see, other than 802.11b, uses a modulation technique called Orthogonal Frequency Multiplex Division, so if device hears a slower signal, all it has to do is slow down the header portion of the frame to let the slow devices know how long it will occupy the channel and then shift to the highest speed supported at both ends for the data. The exception is when 802.11b is heard. It uses a completely different modulation called Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum, which is incompatible with all the others. So, if a better device hears b, it first has to transmit a frame just to let the 802.11b device know how long it will occupy the channel and then send the data frame. It is this extra transmission that causes the big performance hit, when 802.11b is used in the presence of g or n. In my home, everything is capable of 802.11n, so I configured my access point to only accept n connections. If I had set it to g, then the SSIDs would be broadcast with 802.11g, telling my neighbours they have to send headers at g speeds, regardless if they had any g devices on their networks.I just wonder how long it will be before everything supports it and 802.11ax can hit its full potential. I have some devices that are stuck at 802.11n on 2.4GHz and plan to keep using them for some time yet. I'll bet there are quite a few 802.11g devices still in operation.
The difference being that CAT6a, CAT7 and CAT7a are actually better performing cables than CAT5, CAT5e or CAT6. They may not be needed now but will be useful in a very few years when 10Gb network devices are more common and 10Gb internet becomes available. The other difference is that CAT6a costs very little more than CAT5 or CAT5e so why not use it? The future cost of replacing cables run though building structure is many times the cost of buying better cables now.Then again, there are people who buy Monster cables.
CAT6 is good enough for 10 Gb, 6A if needed to go beyond what plain 6 does, up to 100 M. CAT7 provides no additional benefit, but it does provide some issues, such as more difficult to work with, using the appropriate connectors, etc..They may not be needed now but will be useful in a very few years when 10Gb network devices are more common and 10Gb
That has happened with every version. Ax is no different. When I bought my access point, n was common and ac was starting to appear pre spec. Same thing happened with n and g before it. Those with a need or excess money will buy the latest and greatest. The rest of us will wait until it's mainstream and a lot less expensive.The issue is that 802.11ax will not be beneficial or even a wise purchase for at least a year due to a lack of devices that use it or a final standard.