Learning Guide

802.11 Learning Guide

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.


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   802.11 Quick Start
   The Alphabet
   Chapter Downloads
   Choosing Standards
   Upcoming Standards
   What about security?
   Enterprise role models - Who's really using 802.11?
   802.11 Tutorials
   Articles and White Papers
   Descriptive Q&As


802.11 Quick Start  Return to Table of Contents


The Alphabet  Return to Table of Contents
  • 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.


Chapter Downloads  Return to Table of Content
  • 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.


Choosing Standards  Return to Table of Contents


Upcoming Standards  Return to Table of Contents


What about security?  Return to Table of Contents


Enterprise role models - Who's really using 802.11?  Return to Table of Contents


802.11 Tutorials  Return to Table of Contents


Articles and White Papers  Return to Table of Contents


Descriptive Q & As  Return to Table of Contents


Resources  Return to Table of Contents

This was first published in January 2006

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