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Wireless Standards

802.11 Standard

Much of the recent growth in wireless networks can be attributed to the adoption of the 802.11 standard, also known as "Wi-Fi". It is a standard for wireless communication that provides guidelines for the manufacture of networking hardware that ensures that networking communications protocols are compatible across different manufacturers. For example, a wireless network card manufactured by 3Com will work with a wireless access point manufactured by Lucent. Adoption of this standard has allowed for a drop in the price of wireless hardware, and in turn, helped it to grow.

802.11 Subcategories (802.11b / 802.11a / 802.11g / 802.11n)

Bluetooth Standard

There are some other wireless network standards in use today such as "Bluetooth", which is intended for short-range communication between computers and peripherals, such as wireless phones, keyboards, mice, speakers, microphones, etc. The data rate of bluetooth is presently 24 Mbit/s, considerably slower than most WiFi links. The Bluetooth protocol is much more energy efficient than WiFi. For this reason, Bluetooth tends to be used with small, battery-powered devices as a cord replacement rather than for Local Area Networking between computers.