5.3 IEEE 802.11

In June of 1997, the IEEE Standards Board approved its first Wireless LAN standard, IEEE 802.11, for peer to peer and for client/server networks. This standard is equivalent to a wireless implementation of the Ethernet standard.

This standard deals strictly with specifications for how the Physical Layer and the MAC sublayer of the Data Link Layer handle data entering and exiting a node by way of a wireless medium. The IEEE 802.11 standard enables manufacturers of wireless LAN equipment to build fully compatible and interoperable network equipment.

IEEE 802.11 specifications are designed for wireless technologies that include both infrared and spread spectrum (radio frequency) technologies. Radio, however, is the most popular method of transmission for local networks.

Some 802.11 Specifications