What is 802.11b?

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What is 802.11b?

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 It has since been replaced by 802.11g and 802.11n technology because it only operates at a maximum speed of 11Mbps (megabits per second) – less than half the speed of today’s latest Wi-Fi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.

Features of 802.11b

  1. Data Transfer Speed: 802.11b provides a maximum data transfer rate of 11 Mbps. While this may seem relatively slow compared to newer standards, such as 802.11n or 802.11ac, it was considered a significant improvement at the time of its introduction.
  2. Range Coverage: One of the notable advantages of 802.11b is its ability to offer a relatively wide range coverage. The lower frequency of the 2.4 GHz band allows signals to travel through walls and obstacles more effectively than higher frequency bands. This makes 802.11b suitable for larger areas or environments with obstacles that may impede signal transmission.
  3. Backward Compatibility: Another important feature of 802.11b is its backward compatibility with older wireless standards. This means that devices using older standards, such as 802.11a, can still connect and communicate with devices using 802.11b. This compatibility ensures interoperability and smooth transitions for users upgrading their wireless networks.
  4. Interference Challenges: One of the drawbacks of 802.11b is its susceptibility to interference. The 2.4 GHz frequency band is shared with various other devices, including cordless phones, microwaves, and Bluetooth devices. This shared frequency band can result in signal interference and degraded network performance.

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