Wireless Computing

Introduction to Wireless

Wireless Technologies


Network Security



Valid XHTML 1.0!

Wireless Standards

Introduction to Wireless - Frequency - Wireless Standards

In order to facilitate the formation and maintenance of connections, network protocols must provide a certain additional base set of abilities, including synchronization and error control to keep data intact and routing mechanisms in order to move data. Two complementary protocols currently dominate the field of wireless networking, each designed for a different purpose: IEEE 802.11 for WLANs and Bluetooth for WPANs.

Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs) typically cover a room, building, or cluster of services. They are high capacity, and provide network full functionality. Ideally, connection to a WLAN should provide all the benefits of a physical connection. 802.11 is typically used by larger devices such as laptops, printers, and routers. The widely used Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.11 standard defines several layers that provide all necessary Internet services. There are several variants of 802.11, including 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g, each of which offers a different combination of maximum speed, compatibility, and frequency.

Wireless Personal Area Networks (WPANs) typically cover only the immediate environment, out to approximately 10 meters. WPANs facilitate connections between multiple mobile devices such as cell phones, PDAs, or laptops. Because smaller electronic devices are the main target audience for WPANs, low power usage, small size, and inexpensive construction are essential. Bluetooth, a technology pioneered by Ericsson in 1994, meets all of the above requirements and has become the de-facto standard for WPANs.

Top of page