You may have heard of multiple Wireless Network Standards, but what exactly are they are which one should you look for when setting up your Wi-Fi network? There are five different wireless network standards in all, but there are a few things to keep in mind first.
802.11a is typically used for businesses, especially those which need a much higher performance level than the average Wi-Fi connection. It’s pretty safe that you probably won’t need to use this network standard to check emails and stream movies at home. This standard is often used when there is a dense user population, such as in airports, offices, and computer labs, where multiple computers must share the same network connection.
802.11b is much more affordable in comparison to 802.11a, but has a slow maximum download speed of around 11 Mbps, so this is certainly not the network you want if you’re taking advantage of a high-speed internet service like Google Fiber. This network standard also has a greater tendency to suffer from interference.
802.11g reaches a much more effective maximum speed of 54 Mbps. Although this standard is more expensive than 802.11b, it also gets good network range and is not easily obstructed.
802.11n is the newest network standard, and has only recently been finalized to support data transfer speeds of over 600 Mbps, and will be more resistant to signal interference, as well as being compatible with other network standard gear.
Finally, 802.11ac is yet to be finalized, but is expected to be released by late 2014.