IEEE 802


IEEE 802 is a set of standards developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for local area networks (LAN) and metropolitan area networks (MAN). The most widely known and implemented standard under IEEE 802 is the 802.3, known as Ethernet, which defines the protocols for communication over a wired network. Other notable standards include 802.11 for wireless LANs, commonly known as Wi-Fi, and 802.15 for wireless personal area networks (WPAN).


The phonetics of the keyword “IEEE 802″ would be pronounced as:”Eye-triple-E (or Eye-ee-ee-ee) Eight-oh-two.”

Key Takeaways

  1. IEEE 802 is a family of standards created by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers for local area networks (LANs) and metropolitan area networks (MANs), defining the communication protocols for various wired and wireless network types.
  2. Some of the key IEEE 802 standards include 802.3 for Ethernet, which covers technologies like twisted-pair and fiber-optic cabling, 802.11, which is the widely used standard for Wi-Fi wireless networks, and 802.15, which specifies protocols for personal area networks (PANs) like Bluetooth.
  3. These standards are essential in ensuring interoperability and compatibility among networking devices, facilitating seamless communication, and improving network performance and efficiency worldwide.


The technology term IEEE 802 is important because it refers to a set of standards established by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) that govern various aspects of wired and wireless communications.

These standards help ensure consistency, compatibility, and seamless integration among networking equipment and devices worldwide.

By setting specific guidelines and requirements, the IEEE 802 family significantly advances the fields of telecommunications and information networking and enables efficient communication between diverse systems and devices.

In doing so, it fosters global connectivity, enhances interoperability, and drives technological innovation across a wide range of industries.


The IEEE 802 is a collection of standards, governed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), that foster interoperability and seamless communication among various networking devices and systems.

This suite of standards is designed to enable seamless connectivity through wired and wireless local area networks (LANs) and metropolitan area networks (MANs). The purpose of these standards is to ensure reliable data communication, enhance device compatibility, and promote efficient network setup and configuration across various industries, educational institutions, government bodies, and residential environments.

To achieve these objectives, the IEEE 802 standards cover a broad spectrum of network technologies, such as Ethernet (802.3), Wi-Fi (802.11), and various other Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN) technologies like Bluetooth (802.15.1) and Zigbee (802.15.4). Each of these separate standards has specific applications and areas of focus, ranging from smart homes and offices to corporate networks and large-scale infrastructure projects.

By defining a common ground for networking devices, IEEE 802 standards contribute to a more connected world and drive innovation, enabling the growth and expansion of modern communication systems and networks that are essential for our daily lives.

Examples of IEEE 802

IEEE 802 is a family of IEEE standards dealing with local area networks and metropolitan area networks. Here are three real-world examples of these technologies:IEEE3 – Ethernet: Ethernet is a widely used technology for wired local area networks (LANs) across homes, offices, and large commercial buildings. This technology allows devices such as computers, printers, and switches to connect to one another in a network, enabling data transfer for communication and collaboration. It operates at various speeds such as 10 Mbps, 100 Mbps, 1 Gbps, and 10 Gbps. Ethernet has become the defacto standard for wired connectivity.

IEEE11 – Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi is one of the most popular wireless LAN technologies in use today, providing internet access to billions of devices worldwide. Wi-Fi technology allows computers, smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, and other IoT devices to connect to a network and the internet through a wireless access point. It operates on4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands, and Wi-Fi technology has seen numerous improvements with advancements such as

11a/b/g/n/ac/ax. Areas with widespread Wi-Fi access, such as coffee shops, hotels, airports, and many public spaces, have become commonplace.IEEE4 – Zigbee: Zigbee is a low-power wireless communication technology widely used for home automation, industrial control, and smart energy applications. Zigbee devices such as smart switches, sensors, and light bulbs connect to a Zigbee-enabled hub or gateway, enabling remote control and monitoring from smartphones, tablets, or computers. This technology operates on the

4 GHz frequency band and is known for its low energy consumption and mesh networking capabilities, where devices can relay signals and function as a self-healing network.


What is IEEE 802?

IEEE 802 is a family of IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) standards for local area networks (LAN) and metropolitan area networks (MAN). It consists of several working groups, each focusing on a specific LAN/MAN technology and its associated protocols, including Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth.

What is the purpose of the IEEE 802 standards?

The purpose of the IEEE 802 standards is to provide a framework for building and maintaining modern communication networks. By defining protocols and specifications for the various layers of the networking structure, these standards ensure interoperability and efficiency among devices and systems in LAN or MAN environments.

What are some of the most widely used IEEE 802 standards?

Some of the most widely used IEEE 802 standards include:

  • IEEE 802.3: Ethernet
  • IEEE 802.11: Wi-Fi
  • IEEE 802.1X: Port-Based Network Access Control
  • IEEE 802.15: Wireless Personal Area Networks (WPAN)
  • IEEE 802.16: Broadband Wireless Access (BWA)

How does IEEE 802 relate to the OSI model?

The IEEE 802 standards primarily address the two lowest layers of the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) reference model: the data link layer and the physical layer. By defining how data is encoded, transmitted, and received over a network, these standards provide the foundation for higher-level application and service protocols.

How are revisions or updates made to IEEE 802 standards?

Revisions or updates to IEEE 802 standards are made through a collaborative process involving IEEE working groups, study groups, and task forces. These groups propose changes or additions to the standards based on emerging technologies, industry requirements, and feedback from users of the standards. Proposed changes undergo a thorough review process before being approved and included in an official amendment or revision to the standard.

Related Technology Terms

  • IEEE 802.3 (Ethernet)
  • IEEE 802.11 (Wireless LAN)
  • IEEE 802.1Q (VLAN)
  • IEEE 802.15 (Wireless PAN)
  • IEEE 802.16 (WiMAX)

Sources for More Information


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