WiFi standards: what’s available …

A number of customers have asked me what’s the data rate and wireless range for the different wireless, or WiFi standards. Here is a useful reference table that might help answer those questions.

TypeFrequencyData RateIndoor RangeApprox Range
[802.11a]5 Ghz54 Mbps~35 meters~100 meters
[802.11b]2.4 Ghz11 Mbps~38 meters~120 meters
[802.11g]2.4 Ghz54 Mbps~ 38 meters~140 meters
[802.11n]2.4
or 5 Ghz
248 Mbps~70 meters~140 meters
[802.11y]3.7 Ghz54 Mbps~50 meters~5000 meters

Notes:

Ghz = Gigahertz

Mbps = Megabytes per second

1 meter = 3.281 feet

Data rate = how fast your network can potentially go

Approx Range = maximum approximate range the signal can go if you are out in the open with minimal interference

If you are wondering why the indoor range is different from the approximate range, it is because the wireless signal weakens when you have objects in the way (e.g. furniture, metal equipment, walls etc.) . Signal interference may also occur when using common household appliances like Microwaves and cordless phones. Also, WiFi¬†signal strength/ range may decrease depending on how your house is setup, the structure of your house/ building (the more metal beams, the worse your signal is) and/or where you put your wireless router.¬† To make sure you are getting the WiFi standards and speeds you’re paying for, you can use an Internet speed test, like this one from speedron.com.

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