In the world of wireless, the term Wi-Fi is synonymous with wireless access, even though the term Wi-Fi itself (and the Wi-Fi Alliance) is a group dedicated to interoperability between different wireless LAN products and technologies.

The standards themselves are part of the 802.11 family of standards, courtesy of the IEEE. With terms such as “802.11b” (pronounced “Eight-O-Two-Eleven-Bee”, ignore the “dot”) and “802.11ac”, the alphabet soup of standards that began in the late 1990s continues to see improvements in throughput and range as we race to the future to get faster network access.

Along the way, improvements are being made by adopting new frequencies for wireless data delivery, as well as range improvements and reduced power consumption, to help support initiatives like “The Internet of Things” and virtual reality.

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Wi-Fi standards and speeds explained, compared