Explore Wireless LAN (Wi-Fi) Technologies
Most people just refer to their wireless LAN as Wi-Fi. Which is good — we like simple names that everyone knows. But Wi-Fi actually covers a range of technologies, all part of the IEEE 802.11 family of standards, and each of these technologies differs in both its capabilities and its compatibility with other Wi-Fi gear. This table provides a quick, at-a-glance view of the four main 802.11 Wi-Fi variants, what frequencies they use, how fast they are, and how they work with other versions of 802.11.
|Wireless LAN Technology||Frequency||Maximum Speed||Compatibility||Availability|
|802.11b||2.4 GHz||11 Mbps||802.11g||Obsolete, still supported in network adapters|
|802.11a||5 GHz||54 Mbps||802.11n (where 5 GHz is supported, at 54 Mbps)||Obsolete, still supported in network adapters|
|802.11g||2.4GHz||54 Mbps||802.11b (at 11 Mbps)||Now|
|802.11n||2.4 GHz or 5 GHz (not all support 5 GHz)||300 Mbps||802.11g (at 54 Mbps); 802.11b (at 11 Mbps); 802.11a (at 54 Mbps
where 5 GHz is supported)