802.11 Standards Overview


As the family of 802.11 wireless standards expands ever further, I thought it would be nice to provide an overview of each IEEE 802.11 standard.  This table courtesy of Wireless Builders provides a brief overview of each 802.11 standard and a short definition.


IEEE Standard


IEEE 802.11 The initial release of the 802.11 standard.  This is capable of transmission of 1 to 2 Mbps  and operates in the 2.4 GHz band
IEEE 802.11a Capable of transmissions up to 54 Mbps and operates in the 5 GHz band
IEEE 802.11b IEEE introduced this standard in 1990.  Capable of transmissions of up to 11 Mbps and operates in the 2.4 GHz band
IEEE 802.11c Defines wireless bridge operations
IEEE 802.11d Defines standards for businesses developing wireless standards in different countries
IEEE 802.11e Defines enhancements to the 802.11 MAC for QoS
IEEE 802.11f Defines Inter Access Point Protocol (IAPP)
IEEE 802.11g Capable of transmissions up to 20 Mbps  and operates in the 2.4 GHz band
IEEE 802.11i Provides improved encryption
IEEE 802.11j 802.11 extension used in Japan
IEEE 802.11n The latest 802.11 standard that improves upon existing standards by providing multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) and other new features.  Expected to support up to 100 Mbps.  Currently, the expected approval of 802.11n is March 2009.

If you’d like more information about IEEE’s newest standard, 802.11n, you can read my post 802.11n Facts.  This five day post will provide you with more specific information about this standard and a link to the Cisco White Paper that focuses on it.