WiFi Standards: IEEE 802.11

As WiFi has developed, many new variants or standards have been developed to accommodate the increasing speeds and performance


WiFi IEEE 802.11 Types Includes:
Standards     802.11a     802.11b     802.11g     802.11n     802.11ac     802.11d WiGig     802.11af White-Fi     802.11ah Sub GHz Wi-Fi     802.11ax    

802.11 topics:     Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 basics     Standards     Security     Wi-Fi Bands     Router location & coverage     How to buy the best Wi-Fi router    


As Wi-Fi has developed a plethora of different WiFi standards have been introduced. These standards have been introduced as WiFi has developed to keep pace with the growing requirements for faster data transfer and improved performance.

Some of the Wi-Fi standards have addressed different bearers, i.e. different WiFi options, whereas other standards address different aspects of performance that are typically applicable to all the different bearers.

IEEE 802.11 Standards

There is a plethora of standards under the IEEE 802 LMSC (LAN / MAN Standards Committee). Of these even 802.11 has a variety of standards, each with a letter suffix. These cover everything from the wireless standards themselves, to standards for security aspects, quality of service and the like:

  • 802.11a:   This was the first WiFI standard and was for the wireless network bearer operating in the 5 GHz ISM band with data rate up to 54 Mbps.   . . . . Read more about IEEE 802.11a.
  • 802.11b:   Wireless network bearer operating in the 2.4 GHz ISM band with data rates up to 11 Mbps.   . . . . Read more about IEEE 802.11b.
  • 802.11e:   This WiFi standard provides for quality of service and prioritisation.   . . . . Read more about 802.11e Quality of Service, QoS.
  • 802.11f:   This WiFI standard addresses the issue of WiFi handover
  • 802.11g:   Wireless network bearer operating in 2.4 GHz ISM band with data rates up to 54 Mbps.   . . . . Read more about IEEE 802.11g.
  • 802.11h:   Power control
  • 802.11i:   Security - this standard defines the security, authentication and encryption used within Wi-Fi networks.   . . . . Read more about Wi-Fi security.
  • 802.11j:   Interworking
  • 802.11k:   Measurement reporting
  • 802.11n:   Wireless network bearer operating in the 2.4 and 5 GHz ISM bands with data rates up to 600 Mbps.   . . . . Read more about IEEE 802.11n.
  • 802.11s:   Mesh networking
  • 802.11u:   Roaming and Hotspot 2.0   . . . . Read more about Wi-Fi Hotspot 2.0.
  • 802.11ac:   Wireless network bearer operating below 6GHz to provide data rates of at least 1Gbps per second for multi-station operation and 500 Mbps on a single link.   . . . . Read more about IEEE 802.11ac
  • 802.11ad:   Wireless network bearer providing very high throughput at frequencies up to 60GHz.   . . . . Read more about 802.11ad WiGig Gigabit Wi-Fi.
  • 802.11af:   Wi-Fi in TV spectrum white spaces (often called White-Fi).   . . . . Read more about 802.11af White Fi.
  • 802.11ah:   Wi-Fi using unlicensed spectrum below 1 GHz to provide long range communications and support for the Internet of Everything.   . . . . Read more about 802.11ah sub-GHz Wi-Fi.
  • 802.11ax:   802.11ax is seen as the future successor to 802.11ac. Using technologies including OFDMA, MU-MIMO and others its aim is to increase spectral efficiency and hence the overall usability.   . . . . Read more about 802.11ax.

Of these the standards that are most widely known are the network bearer standards, 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, IEEE 802.11ac, etc.



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