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Is WLAN Right For You?
Levels of Wireless Networks
802.11b WLAN

802.11 Wireless LANs
The 802.11 specification was defined by the IEEE. This is used as an extension of Ethernet and is quite flexible in enabling different kinds of network traffic to pass over it. It is primarily used for TCP/IP and also support AppleTalk and other PC file sharing standards. Disparate systems such as Intel-based PCs and Macintosh computers by Apple, can communicate over 802.11b networks. Adapters for PDAs, such as Palm OS and PocketPC based devices, are also available.

802.11b facilitates the wireless transmission of up to a maximum of 11 Mbps of data at distances ranging from a few feet to several hundred feet over the standard 2.4 GHz unlicensed band. The coverage distance depends on line of sight and the occurrences of unforeseen obstacles in the path that may hamper transmission and result in lower data rates.

A typical WLAN has several mobile devices, such us PDAs, mobile phones and laptop computers, that access enterprise information through hardware called Access Points. Access Points can be connected to the enterprise resources through a firewall for added security.

802.11a-transmits 54 Mbps over the 5 GHz band. This is ideal for large data file transfers and bandwidth intensive applications over a limited area. While performance and throughput are significantly increased, the transmission range is notably reduced.

802.11g-transmits 22 Mbps - 54 Mbps over 2.4 GHz. This specification is consider the most popular wireless network platform for the enterprise, providing data transmission rates up to 54 Mbps.

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