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Hello Mi Fans,
If you have ever tried to buy a wireless router or a networking device you must have come through different WiFi Standards. Since Wi-Fi was first released to consumers in 1997, WiFi standards have been continually evolving – typically resulting in faster speeds and further coverage. As capabilities are added to the original IEEE 802.11 standard, they become known by their amendment (802.11b, 802.11g, etc.). Your router, laptop, tablet, smartphone, and smart home devices all use different wireless standards to connect to the internet. Wireless standards change every few years, too. Updates bring faster internet, better connections, more simultaneous connections, and so on.
For most of us, these different terms are too confusing and we also get confused at the time of purchasing wireless gadgets. So, here I bring to you the solution to this problem. Enjoy Reading!
WiFi Standards: The Meaning!
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WiFi relies on a simple idea: instead of sending signals through a wire, send through through the air. Its evolution follows the same route as the telephone: first telephone calls were transmitted over wires, then the air. Networks went the same way — first with thick cables, then smaller faster ones, and now transmitted through the air all the way to satellites in space. So, the Wi-Fi standards are nothing but a set of services and protocols that dictate how your Wi-Fi network (and other data transmission networks) acts. The most common set of standards you will encounter is the IEEE 802.11 Wireless LAN (WLAN) & Mesh.
To help ensure compatibility with different pieces of hardware and networks, you’ll often find that products support multiple, if not all of the standards at the same time. You may have seen a listing like Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax on the spec sheet for many smartphones, which covers all of the oldest and most common modern standards. Much of the renaming has simply come about to help define incremental improvements to the standard, mostly in terms of speed increases. More recently, WiFi has been splitting into some quite different branches, but we’ll get to those in a minute.
Who Sets Different WiFi Standards? The Standard Body!
You all might be eager to know that who sets these different standards or who is the creator? The answer to this, is IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). These are the people who sit around and decide things like how many bits are in a byte and the standards for encryption. They’re not going to come to a company’s house and take their lunch money if they don’t comply, but companies participate and go along with that the IEEE standards decides so their things work well together.
From this group, we get various flavors of WiFi. They’re all called the IEEE 802.11 standard with the letter after the 802.11 numbers. The usual rule is the higher the letter, the faster the speed of the network. Almost all of these function over a range of about 30 meters (150 feet).
The Evolution Of WiFi Standards!
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These standards, with names such as 802.11b (pronounced “Eight-O-Two-Eleven-Bee”, ignore the “dot”) and 802.11ax, comprise a family of specifications that started in the 1990s and continues to grow today. The 802.11 standards codify improvements that boost wireless throughput and range as well as the use of new frequencies as they become available. They also address new technologies that reduce power consumption.
Not all old Wi-Fi standards are obsolete. At least, not yet. Here’s a breakdown of how the most commonly used versions compare:
With the new standards coming, what’s the best way to prepare? Things aren’t going to stand still and wait. Already, older devices are finding it harder and harder to connect to a modern WiFi world, like older tablets and portable gaming systems. To keep compatibility, make sure that routers purchases can support legacy devices and be upgraded in the future. If there’s already a network in place, it’s a good idea to understand how the network works.
I hope this should clear all of your doubts. Still, have any doubts? Ask in the comments section right below!
Image Credits: Google Images
Thank you for Reading!