Wi-Fi® is the branding used by the Wi-Fi Alliance® to describe the family of wireless local area network standards specified by the IEEE 802.11 Working Group. The two industry bodies work closely together, with the Wi-Fi Alliance focusing on the requirements and certification of the technology, and the IEEE focusing on the underlying technical specifications. The Wi-Fi Alliance is responsible for the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ accreditation program, which aims to achieve a high level of interoperability, reliability, and security compliance.

Wi-Fi is an evolving standard, with new IEEE 802.11 standards being incorporated every 4-6 years, along with the corresponding Wi-Fi Alliance certification program. The branding Wi-Fi 6 is defined by the Wi-Fi Alliance, and aligns with the IEEE 802.11ax specification, but includes all previous versions of the IEEE 802.11 specifications dating back to the introduction of Wi-Fi in 1997.

The evolution from the base standard started with the introduction of IEEE 802.11b and IEEE 802.11a in 1999, IEEE 802.11g in 2003, IEEE 802.11n in 2008 (and subsequently branded Wi-Fi 4), IEEE 802.11ac in 2014 (subsequently branded Wi-Fi 5), and finally IEEE 802.11ax in 2019, branded Wi-Fi 6. These standards operate in the unlicensed spectrum of the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. However, 11b and 11g are only applicable in the 2.4 GHz band, while 11a and 11ac are only applicable in the 5 GHz band. The IEEE 802.11ax standard is also specified for operation in the 6 GHz band, with this variant being branded Wi-Fi 6E to signify extension to the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands used in Wi-Fi 6.

For nRF70 series documentation, see the following:

If you want to go through an online training course to familiarize yourself with Wi-Fi and the development of Wi-Fi applications, enroll in the Wi-Fi Fundamentals course in the Nordic Developer Academy.