WLAN / 802.11.x
IEEE 802.11 is a set of standards carrying out wireless local area network (WLAN) communication in the 2.4 and 5 GHz frequency bands. The most important differentiator is the much higher data rate (up to 150 Mbps IEEE 802.11ac) compared to the 802.15.4 or 802.15.1 standard. Additionally the power consumption is higher than the power consumption of compared technologies like Bluetooth or ZigBee and the modules are less compact regarding the size.
On top of the basic protocols standard internet protocols like TCP/IP, UDP and more are used.
- Wireless data communication
- Internet connections
- Multimedia applications
- Applications that require high data transfer rates, also in industrial and building automation
IEEE 802.11 defines the physical layer (PHY) and MAC (Media Access Control) layers based on CSMA/CA (Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance). The 802.11 specification includes provisions designed to minimize collisions, because two mobile units may both be in range of a common access point, but out of range of each other.
Nowadays WLAN Solutions support different kind of modes, like Access Point Mode (the most complex) as well as Soft-Access Point more often used in Embedded devices, Wifi Direct (in order to connect to mobile devices easily) and Station Mode. Also different security standards are known in the market, e.g. WEP, WPA and WPA2, WAPI as well as WPS. State of the art is WPA2 today.