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802.11 is really a family of wireless speeds and technologies, which CompTIA identifies with the term 802.11x. Be careful not to confuse this with 802.1X, covered in section 2.1.1. The first was plain 802.11 with no letter extension, which was released in 1997 with a data rate of 1 to 2Mbit. Two years later both 802.11a and 802.11b specifications were unveiled. The b version quickly caught on because of reasonable speed (11Mbit) at a price point far lower than 802.11a with a maximum throughput speed of 54Mbit. Later standards including 802.11g236 and 802.11i237, a security enhancement to 802.11, incorporated 802.1X authentication and improved encryption. 802.11n proposes 100Mbit/sec. 238 239
802.11x networks consist of one or more wireless access points (sometimes called wired access points), which act as wireless hubs, and one or more devices such as laptops or PDAs with wireless network cards. Optionally, the wireless access points may be connected to a wired network as well.
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