802.11x: Wi-Fi Standards and Speeds Explained

the term Wifi is synonymous with wireless LAN, but is a specific trademark owned by the Wi-Fi Alliance, a group dedicated to certifying products to IEEE wireless standards.

The IEEE naming convention classifies all standards that specify protocols for implementing wireless LANs under 802.11umbrella. Individual standards are assigned alphabetically, such as 802.11a, 802.11b, and so on. Thanks to the widespread acceptance of wireless LAN, new standards continue to develop rapidly, creating a confusing alphabet soup.

To help the public better understand the standards, in 2018 the Wi-Fi Alliance began translating the standard’s technical names into an easy-to-remember numerical system (Wi-Fi 5, Wi-Fi 6). Reflects how cellular technologies are named (3G, 4G, 5G).

Next, the Wi-Fi standard is divided into four sections. Common core standards, future standards still in development, standards designed for niche applications, and historical standards that may be obsolete.You can also view timelines for these standards on the IEEE website.

Core WLAN standard

Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac)

Older home wireless routers are likely 802.1ac compliant and operate in the 5 GHz frequency band. With multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) technology (multiple antennas working on both transmitting and receiving devices to reduce errors and increase speed), the standard supports data rates up to 3.46Gbps. increase.

Some router vendors have incorporated technology to support the 2.4GHz frequency via 802.11n or Wi-Fi 4, supporting older client devices with 802.11b/g/n radios as well as We also offer additional bandwidth for increased data rates. New home routers and new devices now support Wi-Fi 6 and/or 6E.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc. 802.11x: Wi-Fi Standards and Speeds Explained

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