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IEEE 802

IEEE 802.11b Wireless Standard

IEEE 802.11b -1999 or 802.11b, is an amendment to the IEEE 802.11 specification that extended throughput up to 11 Mbit/s using the same 2.4 GHz band. This specification under the marketing name of Wi-Fi has been implemented all over the world. The amendment has been incorporated into the published IEEE 802.11-2007 standard.

802.11 is a set of IEEE standards that govern wireless networking transmission methods. They are commonly used today in their 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g versions to provide wireless connectivity in the home, office and some commercial establishments.

Description[]

802.11b has a maximum raw data rate of 11 Mbit/s and uses the same CSMA/CA media access method defined in the original standard. Due to the CSMA/CA protocol overhead, in practice the maximum 802.11b throughput that an application can achieve is about 5.9 Mbit/s using TCP and 7.1 Mbit/s using UDP.

802.11b products appeared on the market in early 2000, since 802.11b is a direct extension of the DSSS (Direct-sequence spread spectrum) modulation technique defined in the original standard. Technically, the 802.11b standard uses Complementary code keying (CCK) as its modulation technique. The dramatic increase in throughput of 802.11b (compared to the original standard) along with simultaneous substantial price reductions led to the rapid acceptance of 802.11b as the definitive wireless LAN technology.

802.11b devices suffer interference from other products operating in the 2.4 GHz band. Devices operating in the 2.4 GHz range include: microwave ovens, Bluetooth devices, baby monitors and cordless telephones. Interference issues and user density problems within the 2.4 GHz band have become a major concern and frustration for users.

Range[]

802.11b is used in a point-to-multipoint configuration, wherein an access point communicates via an omni-directional antenna with one or more nomadic or mobile clients that are located in a coverage area around the access point. Typical indoor range is 30 m (100 ft) at 11 Mbit/s and 90 m (300 ft) at 1 Mbit/s. The overall bandwidth is dynamically demand shared across all the users on a channel. With high-gain external antennas, the protocol can also be used in fixed point-to-point arrangements, typically at ranges up to 8 kilometers (5 miles) although some report success at ranges up to 80–120 km (50–75 miles) where line of sight can be established. This is usually done in place of costly leased lines or very cumbersome microwave communications equipment. Designers of such installations who wish to remain within the law must however be careful about legal limitations on effective radiated power.[1]

802.11b cards can operate at 11 Mbit/s, but will scale back to 5.5, then 2, then 1 Mbit/s (also known as Adaptive Rate Selection), if signal quality becomes an issue.

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