Question: What is the wireless speed for 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n and 802.11ac wireless standard?

When we talk about wireless speed, it’s more accurate to describe it as throughput, means the amount of data sent/received in certain time period, such as Megabits per second (Mbps) or Gigabits per second (Gbps). However, you can still call it as speed if you like (easier to understand).

- The throughput of 802.11a standard is 54Mbps and it works in 5GHz band only.
- The throughput of 802.11b standard is 11Mbps and it works in 2.4 GHz band only.
- The throughput of 802.11g standard is 54Mbps and it works in 2.4 GHz band only. 802.11g is also compatible with 802.11b products because they both use the same radio frequency (2.4GHz) to transmit data over the airwaves.
- The throughput of 802.11n standard is 300Mbps and it can operate in 2.4 GHz and 5GHz bands. 802.11n is backward compatible with 802.11a (5GHz band), 802.11b (2.4GHz band) and 802.11g (2.4GHz band) products.
- The throughput of 802.11ac standard is 1 Gbps (Gigabits WiFi) and it works in 5 GHz band only. 802.11ac is backward compatible with 802.11n, however 802.11ac wireless product will likely allow you to switch to 2.4 GHz band too for connecting 802.11b or 802.11g wireless products with lower bandwidth. Official 802.11ac specification will be finalized sometime in 2013.