by CIO Staff

Your Guide to Wireless Standards: Basic Definitions

Jun 15, 2006 2 mins
Mobile Small and Medium Business

802.11 is a group of wireless networking standards, also known as Wi-Fi, set by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). A guide to the major flavors:

802.11a Standard for a wireless network that operates at 5GHz with rates up to 54Mbps.

802.11b Standard for a wireless network that operates at 2.4GHz with rates up to 11Mbps.

802.11d Specification that allows for configuration changes at the media access control, or MAC, layer to comply with the rules of the country in which the network is to be used.

802.11e Standard that adds quality-of-service features and multimedia support to the existing 802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11a wireless networks.

802.11 g Standard for a wireless network that operates at 2.4GHz Wi-Fi with rates up to 54Mbps.

802.11 h Standard that supports Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) and Transmit Power Control (TPC) requirements to ensure coexistence between Wi-Fi and other types of radio frequency devices in the 5GHz band.

802.11 i Standard specifying security mechanisms for 802.11 networks. 802.11i makes use of the advanced encryption standard, or AES, block cipher. The standard also includes improvements in key management, user authentication through 802.1x and data integrity of headers.

802.11j Specification for wireless networks that incorporates Japanese regulatory requirements concerning wireless transmitter output power, operational modes, channel arrangements and spurious emission levels.

802.11 n A task group of the IEEE 802.11 committee whose goal is to define a standard for high-throughput speeds of at least 100Mbps on wireless networks. (The standard is expected to be ratified by 2007.)

802.11 x A standard for port-based authentication, first used in wired networks, that was adapted for use in enterprise WLANs to address security flaws in WEP, the original security specification for 802.11 networks.

Source: Wi-Fi Alliance