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Wednesday, September 15, 2004

802 Explained

Wireless MAN (WMAN)
A Wireless Metropolitan Area Network; a MAN has historically been used to refer to networks encompassing an area larger than a LAN (such as a city or university campus) but smaller than a WAN (such as a nationwide carrier network).

Wireless LAN (WLAN)
A WLAN is now basically a euphemism for any 802.11-based wireless local area, or Wi-Fi, network. Wireless LAN base stations are typically effective for ranges up to 100 meters and can support dozens of users.

Bluetooth
A personal area networking technology now standardized by the IEEE 802.15 standard; Bluetooth communications typically occur over a range of 10 meters and consume much lower power than Wi-Fi or WiMAX connections.

802.11
The IEEE Wireless Local Area Networking (WLAN) standards effort.

802.15
The IEEE Wireless Personal Area Networking (WPAN) standards effort.

802.16
The IEEE Wireless Metropolitan Area Networking (WMAN) standards effort.

802.20
The IEEE Wireless Wide Area Networking (WWAN) standards effort.

802.11b
Often referred to as "Wi-Fi", 802.11b is the most popular of the 802.11 wireless LAN standards. 802.11b communications occur in the 2.4GHz frequency band and provide speeds up to 11 Mbps.

802.11a
Runs at frequencies between 5 GHz and 6 GHz, occupying three separate 100MHz frequency bands in that range, and provides communication speeds up to 54 Mbps. Because it runs in the 5GHz band, 802.11a networks rarely conflict with other wireless devices. 802.11a devices consume more power than their 802.11b counterparts. 802.11a communications maxes out around 60 feet with a base station required every 50 feet.

802.11g
Like 802.11b, 802.11g operates in the 2.4GHz frequency band but offers communication speeds up to 54 Mbps. It offers the advantages of 802.11b, albeit at a higher cost.

802.11e
Offers Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities, while maintaining backwards compatibility with 802.11a and 802.11b

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