Definition - What does IEEE 802.11x mean?
802.11x is generic term to refer to the IEEE 802.11 standard for defining communication over a wireless LAN (WLAN). 802.11, commonly known as Wi-Fi, specifies an over-the-air interface between a wireless client and a base station or between two wireless clients. These standards are used to implement WLAN communication in 2.4, 3.6 and 5 GHz frequency bands.
The term is not officially used or defined. Rather, it refers to the common flavors of Wi-Fi, most notably 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, and 802.11n.
Techopedia explains IEEE 802.11x
- 802.11-1997: The original standard released in 1997 provided 1-2 Mbps transmission speed in the 2.4 GHz band using Frequency Hoping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) or Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS). It is currently obsolete.
- 802.11a: Provides a transmission speed of up to 54 Mbps in the 5 GHz band using Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing (OFDM).
- 802.11b: Works in the 2.4 GHz band and can provide up to 11 Mbps speed with a fallback rate to 5.5, 2 and 1 Mbps. 802.11b only uses DSSS.
- 802.11g: Provides a maximum speed of 54 Mbps in the 2.4 GHz band. 802.11g uses OFDM and DSSS and is backwards compatible with 802.11b.
- 802.11n: Provides up to 150 Mbps throughput using spatial multiplexing. It uses the both 2.4 and 5 GHz band.