802.11 is a family of wireless networking protocols out of the IEEE.
The most popular of these, 802.11b, has been in comercial use since 1999. It's the standard used by Apple Computer in its AirPort technology, as well as being adopted in wireless PC cards from Agere (formerly of Lucent) and Cisco. It has a maximum theoretical throughput of 11 Mbps, which is only about one-tenth the speed of common Ethernets, but much faster than broadband solutions like DSL or cable modems.
Other standards include 802.11g, an upcoming wireless networking protocol with speeds up to 22 Mbps (due in late 2001) and 802.11a, with speeds up to 54 Mbps (due in 2002).
O'Reilly Network articles about this topic:
Federated Network Authentication
How can academic network administrators cope with the "roaming scholar" problem--that is, users having to use several guest provisioning processes to roam across wireless networks on a campus? This challenge applies outside the university setting too. Matthew Gast shows you how federated network authentication can make roaming easier for users and admins alike.
Hot Spots Start to Get Real
More and more public locations are cutting the Internet cord and going wireless. Glenn Fleishman provides you with an update of who's hot, and who's not.
An Overview of 802.11a and 802.11b Products
Even though 802.11g has grabbed recent WiFi headlines, there's lots of useful 802.11a and 802.11b equipment available and ready for you to use right now. Wei Meng Lee provides you with this overview.
Is Bluetooth a Viable Alternative to 802.11b?
Both wireless technologies have their strengths. Wei-Meng Lee explores the possiblity of using a Bluetooth Access Point at home for his wireless Internet browsing, with a good look at the tools necessary for the job.
Eight Tips for Using Your Pocket PC
Using the address book and calendar is nice, but how can your tap the amazing potential built into your PocketPC? Wei-Meng Lee shows you how to convert your pedestrian PDA into a mobile hot rod.
A Technical Comparison of TTLS and PEAP
Strong authentication is a key component of wireless LAN security. Matthew Gast, author of 802.11 Wireless Networks: The Definitive Guide, looks at the latest wireless LAN authentication protocols.
WAP11 to WET11: Easy, Cheap Wireless Bridging
The new Linksys WET11 brings a new kind of simplicity with an appropriate price tag for bridging smaller networks over a wireless link. Glenn Fleishman discusses how to build a wired-to-wireless-to-wired bridge to connect networks too remote or inaccessible to connect via a simple wire--and for cheap!
HighWLAN: A Driving Wireless Network
The mission was to create the first documented case of 802.11b networking at 85, scratch that, 65 mph. This network had to support some form of communication between four computers. Any normal person would have stopped at this point and just bought two-way radios instead. But Casey West is no normal person.
Wireless at Sea: A Report from the MacMania Alaska Cruise
O'Reilly Network's wireless correspondent, Glenn Fleishman, reports from the waters off Alaska on the pains and pleasures of wireless service in a big, metal, floating box.
Flying High with AirPort
This first-person account by airline pilot Jim Dearien details setting up an AirPort network and getting his legacy PCs to work on it. This adventure was motivated by one goal: he wanted to buy his first Mac. See how Jim pulled it off.
Seven Security Problems of 802.11 Wireless
Matthew Gast, author of O'Reilly's 802.11 Wireless Networks: The Definitive Guide, outlines the seven biggest risks of wireless networks, and tells us what to do about them.
Wireless LAN Security: A Short History
Matthew Gast, author of O'Reilly's 802.11: The Definitive Guide, explains the security flaws in 802.11 wireless networks and looks ahead to the remedies.
802.11 Task Group Update
A status report on the alphabet soup of standards coming out of the IEEE 802.11 Working Group for wireless networking. standards for speed, scheduling, security, frequency co-existence, and other important matters.
Tales of a White Hat War Driver
Are you sharing your WiFi Internet connection with that gentleman in the blue sedan parked outside your business? You probably think insecure wireless is rare. Think again, says Alan Rothberg, and he shows you why.
Easy 802.11b Wireless for Small Businesses
Small businesses looking for an edge over their larger competitors might consider providing wireless Internet access for their customers. It's affordable, and after reading these detailed instructions, darn easy.
Review: 3Com's Wireless Workgroup Bridge
Laptops and some PDAs can become wireless by taking a PC card, but what about older equipment? Glenn Fleishman reviews a 3Com wireless bridge that can make any Ethernet-ready device wireless.
SSH on Mac OS X for Worry-Free Wireless
FTP over a public wireless network? Don't even think about it. Here's how to set up secure transmission of your private data and webcam images on open networks using SSH and Mac OS X.
NoCatAuth: Authentication for Wireless Networks
Even an open community wireless network needs to keep track of who's using it, to prevent abuse. NoCat uses a system that authenticates users and grants priveleges based on user class.
Industrial-Strength Wireless Webcam
You may have been tempted by wireless webcams that promise big, but deliver flimsy images at low bandwidth. Here's how to leverage your existing wireless network to set up a portable webcam for less than $25.
An 802.11 ISP on Maine's Rocky Coast
The Midcoast region of Maine isn't blessed with a range of high-bandwidth options. So a local ISP opted to use 802.11 wireless technology to offer fat-pipe service to its customers on the mainland and offshore islands.
Life After AirPort -- New Wireless Base Stations
Is there 802.11b life after your AirPort Base Station goes up in smoke? You bet! We review the 3Com HomeConnect Wireless Gateway and the SMC Barricade.
Extending the Life Line of the Palm OS
Marc Hedlund offers four ways to improve the Palm operating system, including bundling applications, improving the desktop software, switching wireless support to 802.11b, and embracing standards.
Considering setting up a wireless network? This Round-Up collects O'Reilly Network articles on 802.11b wireless networking for Linux, BSD, Windows, and Macintosh.
Introducing the Xircom 802.11 Module for the Visor
The Xircom 802.11b Ethernet module is handsome and rugged, but does it work?
New Wireless Standards Challenge 802.11b
Until recently, choosing a wireless network has been easy: You go with 802.11b. But four new standards coming online this year will complicate the choice. The IEEE is offering two new, faster protocols (802.11g and 802.11a), while industry groups are pushing two competitive standards, Bluetooth and HomeRF.
A Wireless Long Shot
To test the outer limits of 802.11b wireless connectivity, a team of techies from O'Reilly & Associates attempts to bring a high bandwidth connection to homes in the hills of Sonoma County. In this first article, the team successfully links two antennae across a 5-mile wide valley at 11 MBps. Article includes a chart and three photos.
Setting up Wireless Cards on FreeBSD
Tired of tripping over Ethernet cables stretched across the house? Michael Lucas show us how to configure wireless Ethernet cards on a FreeBSD laptop.
Michael Lucas gives us an overview of wireless networking in FreeBSD.
Recipe for a Linux 802.11b Home Network
Want to use your hard-wired home Internet connnection to surf wirelessly from your garden? Schuyler Erle shows you how to do it on even the tightest budget.
802.11b Tips, Tricks, and Facts
What's the difference between 802.11 and 802.11b? How fast can a wireless network really go? What's the best antenna configuration? Rob Flickenger answers your questions.
Using SSH Tunneling
UC Berkeley researchers have found weaknesses in the Wired Equivalent Privacy algorithm used in the 802.11 wireless LAN standard. Rob Flickenger shows how to set up Secure Shell (SSH) to keep your wireless access secure.
Getting Started with Lucent's 802.11b Wireless LAN Card
Setting up a wireless LAN for home or business no longer has to drain one's pocketbook or patience. Here's how.
Connecting PCs to Apple's Wireless Airport
We link a Windows PC to an Airport network testing Apple's claim that its wireless system conforms to the IEEE 802.11 standard.
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