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Fastest Possible Connection

The fast and inexpensive 802.11g standard (which uses the same 2.4 GHz band as 802.11b) is rapidly moving to unseat 802.11b from the top of the heap. The very cool thing about “g” is the built-in backwards compatibility with 802.11b. That means any “b” product can connect to a “g” access point. This compatibility makes 802.11g an easy upgrade without tossing out your old client hardware. Because of the compatibility with 802.11b and 802.11g, there is no great hurry to push the myriad of funky wireless products to the new “g” standard. Most manufacturers have support for basic wireless infrastructure using 802.11b and 802.11g with access points and client adapter. Wi-Fi 802.11b really shines when you look at the host of wireless products available. Not only are there the basic wireless networking devices, like adapters, base stations, and bridges, there are also new products that were unthinkable a few years ago. Wireless disk drive arrays, presentation gateways, audiovisual media adapters, printer adapters, Wi-Fi cameras, hotspot controllers, and wireless broadband and video phones dominate the consumer arena. And the enterprise market is not far behind. We’ve been tossing out the terms wireless, gigahertz (GHz), and frequency. Next, we’ll discuss how Wi-Fi uses wireless radio waves, also called RF, to communicate amongst the devices in a wireless network.