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IEEE standards refer to the set of layer 1 and layer 2 specifications for a WLAN.

The first version was released in 1997, and 6 different versions have been brought since then. — 1) 802.11a, 2) 802.11b, 3) 802.11g, 4) 802.11n, 5) 802.11ac, and 6) 802.11ad

Collectively these standards are known as wireless fidelity (WI-FI).

All these standards are similar in 3 aspects:

  • They use half-duplex signaling. That means a device can either transmit or receive, but not perform both simultaneously.
  • They all use 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands.
  • Layer 2 medium access control method is called CSMA/CA (carrier sense multiple access with collision avoidance).

MIMO — Multiple Input Multiple Output

In TCP/IP, we use both IP and MAC addresses.

MAC Address

  • MAC address (physical address) is a globally unique physical ID of your device.
  • It is useful and efficient for local communication only. For example — If you want to talk to your classmate sitting next to you, his mail address info is unnecessary for you.
  • Since IP addresses change, they only reveal where you are and don’t reveal who you are. MAC addresses do reveal your identity but not your location.
  • MAC address is burnt into the NIC (Network Interface Card). If your NIC gets damaged all the connections will be lost.

IP Address

  • They can group and organize different networks.
  • It is like a home address.
  • It is flexible and allows a device to be mobile between different networks.
  • Indicates where you are but not who you are.

Geeky much!

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