Definition Edit

802.11 is a specification from the IEEE for wireless local area networks (WLANs). The current 802.11 specification is 802.11g.[1]

Overview Edit

The key reason for the growth in the use of wireless networks is the increased bandwidth made possible by the 802.11 standard and its successors. The implementation of the 802.11 family of standards increased the data transfer rates offered by wireless networks, making them comparable to those available in the wired environment.

The 802.11 standard was first approved by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in 1997. IEEE's goal was to develop and establish a technology standard that insured global interoperability among wireless products, regardless of their manufacturers. This initial wireless standard was useful for certain applications, but the data transfer rate it specified was far slower than that of wired networks. Responding to the data transfer rate limitations set by the initial standard, the IEEE released several additional standards with the intent of increasing the transfer rates and making wireless functionality comparable to that of wired networks.

There are several 802.11 specifications. These specifications describe how a wireless-enabled computer or device communicates with a base station or wireless access point and with other wireless-enabled computers or devices.

The significant increases in data transfer rates of the new standards, coupled with the availability of affordable wireless-enabled devices, contributed to the rapid adoption of wireless networks.

References Edit

  1. US-CERT, Using Wireless Technology Securely, Glossary at 8 (2008).

See also Edit

External resource Edit

  • Functional Requirements, IEEE Project 802.11 (Ver. 1.0) (David Bagby, ed.) (adopted July 1992) (full-text)..