Wireless networking standards are essential to avoid network chaos. Imagine people trying to achieve a common goal, but each wants to do things his way and no one can agree on anything. Disharmony rules and nothing constructive is achieved. Without standards, the same thing would happen to wireless devices.
Before you purchase a new wireless product you need to check that
the standard it’s been manufactured to matches the standard of the
network you want it to connect to. Here the manufacturer is making a
very clear statement.
Wireless networking standards ensure that wireless products from one
manufacturer operate correctly with those from another. If we didn’t
have standards, only products made by the same manufacturer would
A standard removes this limit and creates a solid framework on which
many product brands and services can be developed and used together,
for Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs)
A WLAN covers an area such as the house or the building you’re working in.
typical WLAN might consist of a single wireless Internet connection
being shared by several wireless-connected laptop computers.
If the wireless card in each laptop and the wireless router all meet the appropriate 802.11 standard, then they should all work happily together on the network. There would be no arguments, just harmony.
for Wireless Personal Area Networks (WPANs)
A WPAN covers your immediate personal working area, such as the room you’re working in.
typical WPAN might consist of a wireless mouse and a wireless keyboard
that you’re using to interact with your computer. Imagine the confusion
if the mouse spoke a language that the computer couldn’t
understand. Without this standard, the result could be
unpredictable...you might move the mouse sideways and the cursor might
disappear off the top of the screen never to be seen again.
Something of a technical heavyweight, the IEEE leads the development of the international standards that support many of today’s products and services, including the wireless networking standards.
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is the world’s largest technical professional association. It’s been around for about 125 years.
It’s likely that the 802 came from the date of the first LAN committee meeting, February 1980. However, the origin isn’t important, just think of it as an identifier.
The .xx is just the next
number in the sequence that they assign the next task to. They then set
up a working group made up of various experts and other interested
parties, and if this was the 11th task they’d call it 802.11, or if it
was the 15th task they’d call it 802.15.
A good standard will always go through a process of evolution as improvements are added by all interested parties. The standard keeps the same number and the amendments are indicated by the addition of a letter, for example... 802.11a, 802.11b etc
All the early amendments have now been rolled into a new document...
And just before we move on from the top two, here are two important subcategories of the WPAN standard 802.15...
Bluetooth supports products such as wireless mice and wireless keyboards. Here's what a typical bluetooth wireless adaptor looks like. It plugs into an available USB socket on your laptop and allows your laptop to communicate wirelessly with other things.
Zigbee supports products such as wireless sensors, that need very little power and can be put in sleep mode.
for Wireless Sensors
This standard accommodates various technologies that have already been developed for wireless sensors currently being used by a number of different companies.
for Mobile Broadband Wireless Access (MBWA)
This wireless networking standard supports mobile broadband Internet-based, always-on products, worldwide, made by different manufacturers. It enables high speed access to networks, including the Internet.
networking standards underpin all successful wireless technology. Want
to know a bit more about a specific standard? Check the links below.
Find out about the wireless 802.11 standard and how to ensure that the new wireless device you’re about to buy will work properly with your network.
The 802.11n standard delivers real benefits for Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs)... it’s faster, works over a greater distance, more reliable, scalable, more secure and compatible with a greater number of other wireless technology products.