Last Post: June 29, 2021:
The Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA) has announced a new method for Wi-Fi vendors to certify their products as Wi-Fi Certified. The name for this program is QuickTrack.
Over the years, obtaining a Wi-Fi certification has become a more burdensome, expensive, and slow process. This has been due to many factors, which I won't go into detail about here.
As the number of capable Wi-Fi products has grown, more and more of them are using radios and components that are already Wi-Fi Certified. Because of this, the number of "compliant", but NON-Certified devices in the marketplace has increased substantially.
The expense of membership to the WFA is many thousands of dollars a year, and that does not include the cost of even one certification. Also, each additional certification added to a single product is an additional charge.
Many years ago, it finally became obvious to manufacturers that to compete in the market place, they needed compatiblity. Prior to the WFA certifications, there really was no way to prove compatibility. And in fact there were several products, from companies that are now well known, that did not work with those from other manufacturers.
It is still the case that some client devices work best with AP's built by the same company. Apple was in this category for many years. But most devices will now work with others, although perhaps not at the highest speeds or complete functionality. Proprietary Mesh protocols are an exception, but even this is starting to change
Today, so many products use radios that have already passed certification, that unless a manufacturer messes something up, a vanilla installation of one of these should work just fine - and much to the WFA chagrin, not need its own certification. It just wont have the "Wi-Fi Certified" sticker on the box.
The public has become aware of this.
IMO, the WFA has become a victim of its own success, and in order to attract new members and increase certifications by its current members they have instituted this new program.
As an early advocate of buying and installing only Wi-Fi Certified devices, especially in larger instances, I'm glad they finally did something like this.
See below for the WFA's press release.