802.11 - The alphabet
802.11 is perhaps the fastest-changing network protocol around. We've gathered a wealth of information to get you up-to-speed quickly on the various specifications.
802.11 Quick Start
- 802.11a - an extension to 802.11 that applies to wireless LANs and provides up to 54 Mbps in the 5 GHz band. 802.11a uses an orthogonal frequency division multiplexing encoding scheme rather than FHSS or DSSS.
- 802.11b - (also referred to as 802.11 High Rate or Wi-Fi) -- an extension to 802.11 that applies to wireless LANS and provides 11 Mbps transmission in the 2.4 GHz band. 802.11b was a 1999 ratification to the original 802.11 standard, allowing wireless functionality comparable to Ethernet.
- 802.11d - a wireless network communications specification for use in countries where systems using other standards in the 802.11 family are not allowed to operate.
- 802.11e - a proposed enhancement to the 802.11a and 802.11b wireless LAN (WLAN) specifications. It offers quality of service (QoS) features, including the prioritization of data, voice, and video transmissions.
- 802.11g - offers transmission over relatively short distances at up to 54 megabits per second (Mbps), compared with the 11 Mbps theoretical maximum with the earlier 802.11b standard.
- 802.11h - intended to resolve interference issues introduced by the use of 802.11a in some locations, particularly with military radar systems and medical devices.
- 802.11i - an enhancement to 802.11 that offers additional security for WLAN applications
- 802.11j - Japanese regulatory extensions to 802.11a specification.
- 802.11k - a proposed standard for how a wireless local area network (WLAN) should perform channel selection, Roaming, and transmit power control (TPC) in order to optimize network performance.
- 802.11m - an initiative to perform editorial maintenance, corrections, improvements, clarifications, and interpretations relevant to documentation for 802.11 family specifications.
- 802.11 (Wi-Fi) Networking Handbook - Chapter 9 - covers the essentials of wireless LANs, including benefits and risks; the major threats to a wireless network; and the breadth and scope of possible attacks and exploits that are available to hackers.
- 802.11 Security: Attacks and risks - this chapter advocates that the more you know about the risks involved in your network the better your chances are of protecting yourself, your assets, and your users.
- Migrating to 802.11g
- Which is faster, 802.11a or 802.11b, and what is their capacity?
- 802.11i: Robust and ready to go
- When should I use 802.11a versus 802.11g?
- Wireless security: 802.11i promises much, but doesn't deliver all of it -- yet
- Choosing between 802.11a and 802.11b
- Keeping tabs on 802.1X
- IEEE Official Web Site
What about security?
- 802.11 Security: Attacks and risks (Book excerpt)
- Glossary Definition: Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP)
- LEAP and PEAP
- Wireless security (Article)
- How secure is WLAN? (Expert advice)
- Popular protocols for securing 802.11 (Expert advice)
- Bolstering wireless LAN security (Article)
- Wireless security: 802.11i promises much, but doesn't deliver all of it -- yet (Article)
Enterprise role models - Who's really using 802.11?
- English water company patches leaks in wireless system (Case study)
- College expects wireless LAN to be big man on campus (Article)
Articles and White Papers
- Wireless standards overview (Article)
- Withstanding 802.11g Forces (Article)
- 802.11g wireless standard upstaging 802.11a (Article)
- Not many making the LEAP to PEAP (Article)
- 802.11g not yet ratified, but early reports look promising (Article)
- Wi-Fi Alliance sets 802.11g testing schedule (Article)
Descriptive Q & As
- What is the capacity of each 802.11b channel
- Is the distance covered by the G standard the same as B?
- Latest advances to 802.11
- Got questions? Pose your own question in our Ask the Expert feature
- IEEE Official Web Site
- Wi-Fi Alliance