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Chapter 4. Wireless Networking > Wireless LAN Technologies and Standards

Wireless LAN Technologies and Standards

Wireless LAN products conforming to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.11 standard wireless LAN protocol are sold as PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card International Association) cards or CardBus cards for network laptop computers throughout a facility. The same wireless LAN PCMCIA cards with special PCI to PCMCIA bus adapters are also used to network desktop PC hosts. USB and PCI wireless LAN adapters are also available.

Wireless LAN products conform to IEEE 802.11b or 802.11a specifications. Such wireless LAN products operate at speeds of up to 11 Mbps (802.11b) or up to 54 Mbps (802.11a) and provide network security using data encryption. They work quite well even when signal quality is poor. A new wireless LAN specification is IEEE 802.11g, supporting up to 54 Mbps transmission over short distances. The IEEE 802.11g specification is backward compatible with the IEEE 802.11b specification, allowing 802.11b-equipped computers to operate on an 802.11g network at reduced speed.


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