wireless networking standards 802.11a 802.11b 802.11g and or802.11n

The standards 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, or802.11n are the ones most wireless products conform to, a comparison between them will show which is the most beneficial to have.

The 802.11 was the first standard, it supported max bandwidth of 2mbps and therefore is now obsolete. The 802.11b supports a bandwidth of 11mbps, and uses unregulated radio signaling frequency of 2.4 GHz, this is a good bet as it is cheap and has good signal strength, however it is slow and prone to interference form other appliances.

In contrast 802.11a has a speed of 54mbps, but it is expensive and is therefore more popular for business networks. It uses a frequency of 5 GHz. Some vendors offer hybrids but these are mutually dependant on the other working properly. The speed is much better and interference is lessened, but it is more expensive and the range of the signal is shorter.

The 802.11g has a bandwidth of 54 Mbps,it utilizes a 2.4 GHz frequency and hence has a greater range. It is backwards compatible with 802.11b, so their respective access points and adapters can work with each other. It is faster and has a better signal but is very costly and is prone to interference from similar frequency appliances.

Now we come to the 802.11n, which supports data rates of over 100 Mbps. It has a better range than earlier Wi-Fi standards because of improved signal strength and in addition is compatible with 802.11g equipment. It has the best speed and signal and is resistant to interference. However it happens to be the most costly and has interference problems with 802.11b and g networks

Other alternatives include, other IEEE 802.11 standards designed for specific reasons(The Official IEEE 802.11 Working Group Project Timelines page is published by IEEE to indicate the status of each of the networking standards under development), Bluetooth which supports a very short range (approximately 10 meters) and relatively low bandwidths, this being the reason it is not very suitable for WLANs, and WiMax which is designed for long-range networking (spanning miles or kilometers) as opposed to local area wireless networking.

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