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Welcome to our wiki. Here, you'll find guides on some basic networking concepts.

We connect Central New York businesses with Wi-Fi, security cameras, phone systems, and more.

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guides:wifi_standards_channels

Wi-Fi Standards and Channels

Below is a comparison of the most common Wi-Fi standards and channels available for use in the United States.

Comparison of common IEEE 802.11 standards

StandardFrequenciesMax PHY RateBandwidth
802.11ax
(Wi-Fi 6)
5 GHz14 Gbps20 MHz, 40 MHz, 80 MHz, 80+80 MHz, 160 MHz
801.11ac Wave 2
(Wi-Fi 5)
5 GHz3.47 Gbps20 MHz, 40 MHz, 80 MHz, 80+80 MHz, 160 MHz
802.11ac
(Wi-Fi 5)
5 GHz1.3 Gbps20 MHz, 40 MHz, 80 MHz, 160 MHz
802.11n
(Wi-Fi 4)
2.4 GHz, 5 GHz600 Mbps20 MHz, 40 MHz
802.11g
(Wi-Fi 3)
2.4 GHz54 Mbps20 MHz
802.11a
(Wi-Fi 2)
5 GHz54 Mbps20 MHz
802.11b
(Wi-Fi 1)
2.4 GHz11 Mbps20 MHz

Note that the maximum speed/throughput/“bandwidth” specified by device manufacturers almost always represents that device's overall transmission capability, not the internet speed you can expect on a connected device. See this article for more information.

Channels and Bandwidth

2.4 GHz Band

There are eleven 20 MHz-wide and two 40 MHz-wide channels in the 2.4 GHz band. Note that the only “set” of non-overlapping channels are 20 MHz-wide channels 1, 6, and 11:

blog_nov2b.jpg

5 GHz Band

No 5 GHz channels overlap:

Choosing a Bandwidth

Higher bandwidths allow for faster speeds, but at the expense of additional opportunities for interference. This is because wider channels use more frequencies, meaning there is a greater chance there may be Wi-Fi or other devices sharing the channel.

Smaller bandwidths are slower but allow for greater device density.

Channel Quirks

Hardware manufacturers might have “interesting” ways of selecting channels. For example, let's say you wanted to set a UniFi AP to the first available 80 MHz channel. Technically, this would be channel 42. However, UniFi only allows you to select 20 MHz channels. Therefore, you would choose any of the 20 MHz channels within that 80 MHz range (36, 40, 44, or 48) and UniFi would actually set the AP to the correct 80 MHz channel (42).

guides/wifi_standards_channels.txt · Last modified: 2021/02/28 17:26 by Aaron Zufall