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802.11 Standards

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Abbreviation of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, pronounced I-triple-E. Founded in 1884 as the AIEE, the IEEE was formed in 1963 when AIEE merged with IRE. IEEE is an organization composed of engineers, scientists, and students. The IEEE is best known for developing standards for the computer and electronics industry. In particular, the IEEE 802 standards for local-area networks are widely followed.

Anyone that has worked with a computer on a network has at some point been exposed to the 802 standards. The 802 standards developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electonics Engineers for the primary use in the computer and electronics industry. The IEEE 802 standards for local area networks are widely followed. The IEEE only establishes the standard. The industry leaders in network technology have for the most part accepted these standards and develop their products to meet these standards.

What are the pros and cons of developing to a set standard?

The standards developed under the 802 title cover several aspects of networking technology. A short list of the standard and the area covered are:

LAN/MAN Bridging & Management (802.1)

Logical Link Control (802.2)

Token Ring Access Method (802.5)

Wireless LANs (802.11)

Demand Priority Access Method (802.12)

Wireless Personal Area Networks (802.15)

Broadband Wireless Metropolitan Area Networks (802.16)

Resilent Packet Rings (802.17)


There has been volumes written on each of these standards. The one that most individuals have been exposed to is the 802.11(X) standard. This standard deals with the setup and use of a wireless local area network. This LAN for many is setup as a home network consisting of a high speed moden, wireless router and a pc/laptop with a wireless network interface card. Some of the more popular vendors for wireless NIC's and routers are Netgear, D-link and Belkins. The size and shape of the hardware might be slightly different but they all conform to the 802.11 standard.




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