802.11 Wireless



802.11_wireless.gif

802.11, also known as IEEE 802.11, is a set of standards to allow different devices to communicate wirelessly. It is created by the IEEE (pronounced eye-triple-e) LAN/MAN Standards Committee.

All 802.11 signals are centered around the 2.4, 3.6 and 5 GHz frequency bands.

There are multiple "flavors" of 802.11, and even though they have different letters as suffixes, it doesn't mean that one necessarily supersedes another.

802.11a and 802.11b were released in 1999, and are still widely popular. 802.11a is centered around 5 GHz and has a range of roughly 115 feet indoors. It has a high data rate potential, upwards of 54 Mbit/s is possible.

802.11b is the most common of the different 802.11 versions, and is the de facto standard. Nearly all devices that have some 802.11 standard will be able to b as well. 802.11b is centered on the 2.4 GHz range, and has a maximum data rate of 11 Mbit/s. One potential problem is the 2.4 GHz band is fairly crowded, with microwaves, Bluetooth, cordless telephones, and baby monitors all occupying this range. Most modern devices will "frequency hop" to avoid conflict with other devices. The maximum potential range of 802.11b devices indoors is around 125 feet.

802.11g os also centered around the 2.4 GHz band, but uses a transmission scheme that's the same as 802.11a. As such, it takes pros and cons from both. It has the same potential range indoors as b, but the maximum data rate potential as a.

802.11n is the newest standard, adding multiple antennas that function in a "MIMO" mode, or multiple-input multiple-output. 802.11n works on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. Extremely high data rates are possible, potentially upwards of 150 Mbit/s. Range is also increased, with a possible range of 230 feet indoors.

Devices with wireless capability will have a label such as "802.11a/b/g" which means they are able to communicate with the a, b and g standards. This only matters so long as your wireless router shares at least one of the same letters. If bandwidth is an issue (transmitting HD wirelessly, for example), a specific letter may be needed and will be listed on the product.

The most common devices to feature 802.11 are any Blu-ray or TVs that have wireless capability. You can find those here, here, and here.

AV receivers also come equipped with 802.11 wireless.

For even more information, check out the Wikipedia page.


Newest

Jun 29
Andover Model-One Turntable Music System Reviewed Andrew says that while the Andover Model-One music system may be a niche product aimed at a very specific customer, its design and ease-of-use make it one of his favorite record players.
Andover Model-One Turntable Music System Reviewed

Jun 29
In Terms of Accessibility, the AV Industry is Getting Worse, Not Better The disappearance of Windows control options and lack of accessibility standards are making it more difficult for home theater enthusiasts with physical disabilities to keep up with the rapid pace of technological change.
In Terms of Accessibility, the AV Industry is Getting Worse, Not Better

Jun 24
SVS SB-2000 Pro Subwoofer Reviewed SVS makes a compelling case for dual subwoofers with the SB2000-Pro, an affordable tour de force with performance way beyond its price.
SVS SB-2000 Pro Subwoofer Reviewed

Jun 24
Bowers & Wilkins Announces 705 Signature & 702 Signature Loudspeakers You don't see Bowers & Wilkins announcing new Signature Series loudspeakers all that often, so when it happens it's...
Bowers & Wilkins Announces 705 Signature & 702 Signature Loudspeakers

Jun 22
Tix Available Now for HiFi Summit, the World's First Online AV Tradeshow AV trade shows have always been a tradeoff. Sure, they can be great for business and business connections, as well...
Tix Available Now for HiFi Summit, the World's First Online AV Tradeshow