When purchasing a new laptop, which Wi-Fi standards are recommended for a college student that will be paid for by a frugal parent?
802.11b 802.11a 802.11g 802.11n 802.11ac 802.11ax
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802.11ac is the norm today, and that will work with everything. If you buy a laptop and it doesn't have 802.11ac (or ax or something newer) you are getting shafted.
when 802.11ac in the future doesn't suit your needs, buy a usb-to-wifi adapter that provides you 802.11ax, or wifi6, or wifi7... etc.