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What is the difference between 802.11a, b, g, n, ac, and ax?

Do you ever feel like you’re in the dark when it comes to all the different types of wireless technology out there? Well, you’re not alone. The truth is, even experts sometimes get tripped up by all the acronyms and technical jargon associated with WiFi.

But never fear! In this blog post, we’ll break down everything you need to know about the different types of 802.11 wireless standards so that you can be an informed consumer (or at least sound like one at your next dinner party). So without further ado, let’s dive in!

802.11a was the first wireless networking standard and it operated at 5GHz

802.11a was the first wireless networking standard and it made waves when it first came onto the scene in September of 1999. The standard provided speedy 5GHz coverage, faster than 802.11b could offer at 2.4GHz, and with compatible hardware providers were able to make a splash in the market right away. Those wanting to take advantage of faster speeds had to make sure they had compatible hardware, which was capable of using the major advantage that 802.11a offered its users at this frequency band. With hardware offering 11 Mbps speeds, people were able to get their work done quicker than ever before, making it a major draw for business applications as well as general home use where speed is key.

802.11b was released afterwards and it operated at 2.4GHz

802.11b was the second wireless LAN protocol to be released after 802.11a in 1999. Supporting a maximum data rate of up to 11Mbps, this technology operated at the 2.4GHz frequency band and had a theoretical range of around 140 meters indoors and 300 meters outdoors. The introduction of 802.11b was an important development in wireless networking as it was much slower than 802.11a but performed better at long distances due to its decreased frequency band and longer signal range, making it more suitable for various applications on how people use wireless networks today.

802.11g was an upgrade from 802.11b and it also operated at 2.4GHz

802.11g was a welcome upgrade from the standard 802.11b wireless network protocol, and it offered significantly higher bandwidth capabilities. It allowed users to connect to the internet or other networks with speeds up to 54 megabits per second while remaining in the 2.4GHz frequency range, as opposed to its predecessor’s maximum speed of 11Mbps. The upgraded frequency range meant that more connections could be established with greater signal stability than ever before, and because of this, 802.11g quickly became popular among residential users who wanted faster wireless connection speeds while still operating in an economical frequency range.

802.11n was a major upgrade that improved speed and range over previous standards

802.11n was a major improvement in wireless technology, offering several advancements over earlier incarnations. It increased both data transfer rate and range, meaning faster download speeds and better coverage extended further away from the router. These advances enabled greatly expanded use of wireless devices, particularly in professional and business settings with more robust networking requirements. 802.11n is an example of rapid advances in wireless technology – first released to the public in 2009 – that continues to be refined today for ever-expanding applications.

802.11ac is the current standard and it operates at 5GHz

802.11ac technology is the latest advancement when it comes to wireless networking. It operates on the 5GHz frequency, offering a whole new world of speed, distance, and reliability than previous standards. With 802.11ac, businesses can now expect more reliable online streaming and faster download rates across their entire network with no extra cost or effort. Additionally, the use of the 5GHz frequency spectrum reduces interference from other devices like microwaves and Bluetooth among others, providing a more consistent experience for users in terms of bandwidth availability. Overall, businesses that switch to using 802.11ac technology will see an increase in efficiency and productivity in their day-to-day operations for years to come.

802,11ax is the latest standard that offers even higher speeds and greater range

The evolution of wireless technology is showing no signs of slowing down with the latest 802.11ax standard being developed to take internet streaming and downloads to yet another level. This remarkable breakthrough offers much faster speeds than its predecessor – up to four times that of 802.11ac – and provides users with greater range as well, using MU-MIMO for better performance within a densely populated area. As business operations become increasingly reliant on Wi-Fi networks, 802.11ax offers a real solution for ensuring mission critical applications can function effectively and securely, allowing high levels of productivity with minimal disruption or interruptions to service.


In order to take advantage of the newest wireless standards it is important to have a router that supports them. The good news is that many routers on the market today support 802.11ax, the latest and greatest standard. This means that you can enjoy faster speeds and greater range than ever before. When shopping for a new router, be sure to check for 802.11ax compatibility to get the most out of your new device.

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