Abbreviation of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, pronounced I-triple-E. Founded in 1884 as the AIEE, the IEEE was formed in 1963 when AIEE merged with IRE. IEEE is an organization composed of engineers, scientists, and students. The IEEE is best known for developing standards for the computer and electronics industry. In particular, the IEEE 802 standards for local-area networks are widely followed.

Anyone that has worked with a computer on a network has at some point been exposed to the 802 standards. The 802 standards developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers for the primary use in the computer and electronics industry. The IEEE 802 standards for local area networks are widely followed. The IEEE only establishes the standard. The industry leaders in network technology have for the most part accepted these standards and develop their products to meet these standards. What are the pros and cons of developing to a set standard? The standards developed under the 802 title cover several aspects of networking technology.

A short list of the standard and the area covered are: LAN/MAN Bridging & Management (802. 1) Logical Link Control (802. 2) Token Ring Access Method (802. 5) Wireless LANs (802. 11) Demand Priority Access Method (802. 12) Wireless Personal Area Networks (802.

15) Broadband Wireless Metropolitan Area Networks (802. 16) Resident Packet Rings (802. 17) (web) There has been volumes written on each of these standards. The one that most individuals have been exposed to is the 802. 11 (X) standard. This standard deals with the setup and use of a wireless local area network.

This LAN for many is setup as a home network consisting of a high speed modern, wireless router and a pc / laptop with a wireless network interface card. Some of the more popular vendors for wireless NIC's and routers are Netgear, D-link and B elkins. The size and shape of the hardware might be slightly different but they all conform to the 802. 11 standard. Until recently most people didn't pay much attention to the small "b" following the 802. 11 (802.

11 b). Most non-engineers would buy the product, install the device and hoped that it worked. In today's environment it may not be quite that easy. The type of NIC must match the router being used in terms of the 802.

11 () standard in use. These wireless products come in 802. 11 a, 802. 11 b and 802. 11 b / g . These suffix letters have a distinct meaning in the world of wireless.

Knowing what they mean even at a novice level will be a time and money saver. There are 3 major distinctions between the a, b and g standards. These are Operating frequency, transmission speed and coverage (distance). 802. 11 a - This standard fits predominately in the business market.

It supports a band with up to 54 Mbps (millions of bits per second or megabits per second). The signals operate in the 802. 11 a supports bandwidth up to 54 Mbps and signals in a regulated 5 GHz range. Compared to 802. 11 b, this higher frequency limits the range of 802. 11 a.

The higher frequency also means 802. 11 a signals have more difficulty penetrating walls and other obstructions. Because 802. 11 a and 802. 11 b utilize different frequencies, the two technologies are incompatible with each other. Some vendors offer hybrid 802.

11 a / b network gear, but these products simply implement the two standards side by side.