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Dated: Oct. 22, 2013

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Networking In General
WIFI Wireless

If you are a home network owner or perhaps a business network owner you are probably seeking to purchase WLAN (wireless local area network) devices and gear. There are a lot of devices and products that fit into the common wireless standard. They are also known as Wi-Fi technologies and the most common are 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g. In this text we will compare those standards and tell you the pros and cons of each one of them.


This is the first wireless local area network standard that was created. The IEEE made it in 1997. They gave it the name of 802.11 but it had a max bandwidth of just a a miserable 2 Mbps - which is to slow to do almost anything. That is why routers and other devices that use this standard are not made anymore.Wireless standards


This was the expansion of the old 802.11 and it was created two years later, in 1999. It had higher bandwidth which could go to about 11 Mbps, around the same as standard Ethernet.

It has the same frequency (2.4 GHz) of the old standard that was created in 1997. Because of that frequency it can happen that devices that use this standard interfere and create problems when they are placed around household appliances like microwaves and cordless phones. But the devices need to be close to each to each other so if you install the devices a fair distance away from the appliances they will not cause problems.

Pros of 802.11b - has lowest cost of all standards; signal range is fair and stable

Cons of 802.11b - it has lowest maximum speed of all standards; there can be interference with home appliances


At the same time that the 802.11b standard was being created, IEEE started developing an alternative wireless standard called 802.11a. But, it had a higher cost and because of that you will rarely see it in homes, it usually found in business environments. It can support up to 54 Mbps which is really fast.It has a frequency of about 5 GHz. This makes the range shorter because it has a hard time going through walls and various household items.

Pros of 802.11a - It has a really speedy maximum speed; there is no possible chance of signal interference

Cons of 802.11a - It costs a lot; short range because it can't penetrate walls


IEEE created a new standard in 2003 called 802.11g. It was somewhat of a mixture of the standards 802.11b and 802.11a. It supports up to 54 Mbps, and in order to have a bigger range it uses the 2.4 GHz frequency that was found in the 802.11b standard.

Pros of 802.11g - It has a really fast max speed; the range of the signal is great and is stable

Cons of 802.11g - It costs less than 802.11a but more than 802.11b; there can be interference due to the 2.4 GHz frequency

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