802.11b is an old Wi-Fi standard that was released about 20 years ago, in 1999. It has since been replaced by 802.11g and 802.11n technology because it only operates at a maximum speed of 11Mbps (megabits per second) – less than half the speed of today’s latest Wi-Fi standards. It was released along with 802.11a.
802.11b works by sending data over the air in a series of packets – like letters that are delivered one at a time to their destination via post. However, if someone else is sending out mail too then there can be some clogging up and delays along the way.
To avoid this problem, back when wireless internet was first becoming popular people would create ‘wireless networks’ as an alternative to cable modems or DSL lines for accessing the web on computers around your home or business premises; these were called WLANs (Wireless Local Area Networks).
With all those users simultaneously connecting wirelessly to just one access point, it became clear that something had to be done about the problem of all those packets arriving at the destination out of order.
The 802.11b Wi-Fi standard is a wireless technology that has an indoor range of roughly 35 meters and outdoor range up to 140 meters, which allows for transfer rates at 11 Mbps or 1.375 megabytes per second; this was faster than internet speeds in the late 1990s.