Making Sense of 802

By Jason Brooks  |  Posted 2003-02-03 Print this article Print

.11"> Making Sense of 802.11

  • 802.11a An extension of the 802.11 standard family that operates in the 5GHz band; by replacing the DSSS (direct sequence spread-spectrum) transmission technology of 802.11b with an OFDM (orthogonal frequency division multiplexing) encoding scheme, 802.11a can deliver speeds up to 54M bps

  • 802.11b The most widely used WLAN standard, 802.11b operates in the unlicensed 2.4GHz band and transmits in DSSS; maximum speeds for 802.11b top out at 11M bps

  • 802.11e An effort to boost the quality-of-service and multimedia capabilities of the other 802.11 standards while maintaining backward compatibility

  • 802.11g Uses the same OFDM scheme as 802.11a and will potentially deliver speeds on par with 802.11a; however, 802.11g gear operates in the 2.4GHz swath of spectrum that 802.11b equipment occupies and, for this reason, should be compatible with existing WLAN infrastructures

  • 802.11i Another complementary 802.11 standard, intended to boost security with improved key-distribution methods and advanced encryption technologies such as AES and TKIP

    As Editor in Chief of eWEEK Labs, Jason Brooks manages the Labs team and is responsible for eWEEK's print edition. Brooks joined eWEEK in 1999, and has covered wireless networking, office productivity suites, mobile devices, Windows, virtualization, and desktops and notebooks. JasonÔÇÖs coverage is currently focused on Linux and Unix operating systems, open-source software and licensing, cloud computing and Software as a Service. Follow Jason on Twitter at jasonbrooks, or reach him by email at

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