IEEE 802.11


IEEE 802.11 is a set of wireless networking standards developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). These standards define the protocols used for communication between devices over wireless local area networks (WLANs), commonly known as Wi-Fi networks. The different versions of the IEEE 802.11 standard, such as 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, and 802.11ac, vary in terms of speed, frequency, and range.


The phonetic pronunciation of the keyword “IEEE 802.11” is as follows:I – /ɑɪ/E – /iː/E – /iː/E – /iː/(space)8 – /eɪt/0 – /ˈoʊ/2 – /tuː/(dot)1 – /wʌn/1 – /wʌn/

Key Takeaways

  1. IEEE 802.11 refers to a set of standards for implementing wireless local area network (WLAN) communication in the 2.4, 3.6, 5, and 60 GHz frequency bands, allowing devices to connect and communicate wirelessly within a limited range.
  2. There are several IEEE 802.11 standards variations (e.g., 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, and 802.11ac), each with different performance characteristics such as data transfer rates, range, and frequency bands, allowing for compatibility and adaptability of various wireless devices and applications.
  3. IEEE 802.11 provides security features, like Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) and Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) to ensure data confidentiality and integrity in wireless communication, while regularly updating and improving these security protocols to address evolving threats.


The technology term IEEE 802.11, also commonly known as Wi-Fi, is important because it represents the widely-adopted set of wireless networking protocols that provide the foundation for a variety of internet-enabled devices.

Developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), this group of standards enables seamless, reliable, and secure wireless communication between compatible devices, contributing significantly to the expansion of the digital ecosystem in modern society.

Due to the pervasive nature of IEEE 802.11 wireless networks, it has become the primary means for connecting devices to the internet in various domains such as homes, offices, public spaces, and smart cities, enabling a vast array of innovative functionalities and transforming the way we access information, communicate, and interact with technology.


The IEEE 802.11, commonly known as Wi-Fi, is a set of wireless communication standards that have revolutionized the way people and devices connect to the internet in various settings. Its primary purpose is to provide fast, secure, and reliable wireless connections between different digital devices, such as computers, smartphones, and routers without the need for physical cables.

The technology is widely used in various sectors, including homes, offices, public places, and transportation systems, effectively eradicating the constraints of wired networks and enabling free movement of data, enhancing productivity, communication, and convenience in our daily lives. At its core, the IEEE 802.11 technology operates on radio frequency bands, such as the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, which are responsible for transferring data packets within specified ranges with minimal interference.

As technology has advanced over the years, various iterations of the IEEE 802.11 standards have been released, with each new version improving upon aspects such as data transfer speeds, security measures, and power efficiency. Examples of these updated versions include 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, and the most recent 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6). As our reliance on internet connectivity continues to grow, IEEE 802.11 has become an indispensable component in providing smooth, efficient, and seamless digital experiences for users globally.

Examples of IEEE 802.11

IEEE11, commonly known as Wi-Fi, is a set of wireless networking standards for creating local area networks (LANs) and allowing devices to exchange data or connect to the internet without wires. Here are three real-world examples of IEEE11 technology in use:

Home Wi-Fi Network: The most common example of IEEE11 technology is the home Wi-Fi network. Home routers and wireless modems usually support Wi-Fi standards such as11b/g/n/ac/ax (Wi-Fi 4/5/6), providing wireless internet access to multiple devices, including smartphones, laptops, tablets, smart TVs, and other IoT (Internet of Things) devices connected to the network.

Public Wi-Fi Hotspots: Public places like airports, cafes, hotels, and libraries often provide Wi-Fi access points that enable patrons to connect their devices to the internet. These Wi-Fi hotspots use IEEE11 technology, allowing multiple users to connect to the internet simultaneously.Wireless Office Networks: In modern office environments, IEEE

11 technology is widely used to provide wireless connectivity. A wireless office network allows employees to connect their laptops, phones, and tablets to the internet without physically plugging them into a wired network. It simplifies network administration, supports mobility, and helps employees collaborate better by enabling easy sharing of files and resources.

IEEE 802.11 FAQ

1. What is IEEE 802.11?

IEEE 802.11 is a set of standards for implementing wireless local area network (WLAN) computer communication across various frequency bands. Developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), it defines the protocols for efficient communication and data exchange between devices in a wireless network.

2. What are the different types of IEEE 802.11 standards?

There are several types of IEEE 802.11 standards, including 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, 802.11ac, and 802.11ax. Each standard varies in terms of data transfer rates, frequency bands, and compatibility with other standards. As technology advances, newer standards provide improved performance and capabilities.

3. How does IEEE 802.11 work?

IEEE 802.11 works by establishing communication between wireless devices using radio frequency (RF) technology. Devices in a WLAN conform to one or more of the IEEE 802.11 standards and use a wireless access point (WAP) as the central hub for communication. Data is transmitted and received through radio waves, allowing devices to connect and share information without needing a physical wired connection.

4. What is the difference between IEEE 802.11 and Wi-Fi?

IEEE 802.11 refers to the set of standards developed by IEEE for wireless communication, while Wi-Fi is a trademarked term by the Wi-Fi Alliance, referring to products that meet the certification criteria for interoperability and security based on the IEEE 802.11 standards. In simpler terms, IEEE 802.11 is the technical foundation for what is commonly known as Wi-Fi.

5. Why is security important in IEEE 802.11 networks?

Security is critical in IEEE 802.11 networks because wireless communication is more susceptible to eavesdropping and unauthorized access compared to wired connections. To safeguard the privacy and integrity of transmitted data, various security protocols such as WEP, WPA, and WPA2 have been developed to encrypt and authenticate data exchanged between devices in a WLAN.

Related Technology Terms

  • Wireless LAN (Local Area Network)
  • Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity)
  • WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access)
  • WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy)
  • Access Point (AP)

Sources for More Information


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