eWEEK at 30: WiFi Fills Insatiable Demand for Fast Wireless Web Links
eWEEK 30: When PC Week started publishing 30 years ago, it was a wired world and wireless connectivity was in its early stages. But by 2001, that dream started to become a reality, and now in 2014 it's the norm.People were tethered to their computers and the networks that connect them via copper or optical cables for most of computer history. That situation started to change in the late 1990s with the emergence of the IEEE 802.11 wireless standard that set the stage for the first wave of wireless Internet adoption. The wireless revolution has carried forward to this day, with WiFi now increasingly becoming the dominant form of Internet connectivity. The first 802.11 wireless standard was defined in 1997, but it wasn't until 1999 with the emergence of the 802.11b WiFi standard when things really started to get interesting in terms of both enterprise and consumer adoption. The 802.11b standard defined a wireless speed of 11M bps, which provided first-time users with sufficient speed to access email and Websites of that era. Though the 802.11b standard was first available in 1999, it took a couple of years until eWEEK declared it ready for widespread deployment. In 2001, eWEEK declared that 802.11b wireless LANs had finally reached a point where we could safely say, "Deploy them."
As time would tell, that first iteration of 802.11b was not quite ready for the broad deployment that exists for wireless technologies today. One of the first big challenges faced by 802.11b and the dream of pervasive wireless connectivity was security.