What is WiFi

What is WiFi

By | Aug 29, 2013

There are four popular types of wireless routers. Each kind has its own pros and cons. The differences among them are the speed and distance. The speed is being measured in Mbps or megabits per second. The higher the speed, the better it is. The distance can tell you how far the device can send a signal. (these will also work on your PS3)

The different kinds of this device are identified through a single letter after the 802.11.

802.11b
This is one of the first series of IEEE that has been used in Wi-Fi networking products. It has been introduced in 1999. It supports a theoretical maximum transfer rate of 11 Mbps. Compared to the traditional Ethernet connection, this rate is higher. However, it is significantly slower than the latest 802.11 technologies and Fast Ethernet.

It transmits signal through 2.4 Ghz frequency range. It is prone to encounter interferences from other non-cabled household products, including baby monitors, cordless telephones, etc.

One of the benefits of this kind of device is its price tag. It is the least expensive in this category. Another positive thing about it is its signal range that is considered good by many experts.

802.11g
This has been introduced in the years 2002 and 2003. Its main goal is to combine the benefits of both 802.11a and 802.11b. It supports a maximum bandwidth of up to 54 Mbps. Just like the 802.11b, it utilizes 2.4 Ghz band for wider and greater range.

802.11g is backward compatible with 802.11b. This simply means that its access points can work with the 802.11b network adapters.

Its greatest strength is its ability to deliver faster maximum speed compared with the 802.11b. But it costs more than 802.11b.

802.11n
This is one of the latest IEEE standards in Wi-Fi. It was built to improve the amount of bandwidth provided by 802.11g. It can offer greater bandwidth through the use of multiple RF signals and antennas, rather than the use of one. It is also aptly called MIMO technology.

It can support data rates of more than 100 Mbps. Through its improved signal intensity, it can offer its consumers better range than the earlier versions.

It offers faster maximum speed while it delivers best signal range. It is also more resistant to signal interference. Unfortunately, it costs more.

802.11ac
This is the latest “kid” on the block. It is described as the future of Wi-Fi. It is backward compatible with N, G, and B. Because of its backward compatibility, you can connect old devices to it. No matter how old they are, they can still connect to the network.

The biggest difference it has over other types of wireless routers discussed above is the fact that it only works on the 5 Ghz frequency. In order for it to be compatible with old computers and devices, a WLAN device with this technology comes with 802.11n on the 2.4 Ghz frequency.

This is great for everything, especially for gamers and streaming high definition videos within a local network.

Understanding these kinds of WLAN device can help you pick which product to purchase for personal and professional uses.

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