Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wireless Networks: Difference between 802.11b and 802.11g

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You might have seen these numbers while connecting your laptop to your WiFi device. 802.11 is the IEEE standard given for Wireless Local Arean Networks or WLAN.  Today, WiFi devices are abundant in households and offices. But there are various WiFi bands based on its speed and frequency. This post explains basic difference between two WiFi network standards, 802.11b and 802.11g.


IEEE expanded on the original 802.11 standard in July 1999, creating the 802.11b specification. 802.11b supports bandwidth up to 11 Mbps, comparable to traditional Ethernet.
802.11b uses the same unregulated radio signalling frequency (2.4 GHz) as the original 802.11 standard. Vendors often prefer using these frequencies to lower their production costs. Being unregulated, 802.11b gear can incur interference from microwave ovens, cordless phones, and other appliances using the same 2.4 GHz range. However, by installing 802.11b gear a reasonable distance from other appliances, interference can easily be avoided.

Pros - lowest cost; signal range is good and not easily obstructed.
Cons - slowest maximum speed; home appliances may interfere on the unregulated frequency band.

The IEEE's 802.11g standard is designed as a higher-bandwidth - 54M bit/sec - successor to the popular 802.11b, or Wi-Fi standard, which tops out at 11M bit/sec. An 802.11g access point will support 802.11b and 802.11g clients. Similarly, a laptop with an 802.11g card will be able to access existing 802.11b access points as well as new 802.11g access points.
This is  applies to wireless LANs and is used for transmission over short distances at up to 54-Mbps in the 2.4 GHz bands. 

Pros - fast maximum speed; signal range is good and not easily obstructed.
Cons - costs more than 802.11b; appliances may interfere on the unregulated signal frequency.

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