Standards ensure interoperability between devices made by different manufacturers. Internationally, the three organizations influencing WLAN standards are:
- ITU-R - Regulates the allocation of the RF spectrum and satellite orbits.
- IEEE - Specifies how RF is modulated to carry information. It maintains the standards for local and metropolitan area networks (MAN) with the IEEE 802 LAN/MAN family of standards. The dominant standards in the IEEE 802 family are 802.3 Ethernet and 802.11 WLAN. Although the IEEE has specified standards for RF modulation devices, it has not specified manufacturing standards; therefore, interpretations of the 802.11 standards by different vendors can cause interoperability problems between their devices.
- Wi-Fi Alliance - The Wi-Fi Alliance® (http://www.wi-fi.org) is a global, non-profit, industry trade association devoted to promoting the growth and acceptance of WLANs. It is an association of vendors whose objective is to improve the interoperability of products that are based on the 802.11 standard by certifying vendors for conformance to industry norms and adherence to standards.
The Wi-Fi Alliance certifies Wi-Fi and the following product compatibility:
- IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ad compatible
- IEEE 802.11i secure using WPA2™ and Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP)
- Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) to simplify device connections
- Wi-Fi Direct to share media between devices
- Wi-Fi Passpoint to simplify securely connecting to Wi-Fi hotspot networks
- Wi-Fi Miracast to seamlessly display video between devices
Note: Other Wi-Fi certifications products are available such as WMM® (Wi-Fi Multimedia™), Tunneled Direct Link Setup (TDLS), and WMM-Power Save.
Figure 1 displays the Wi-Fi Alliance logos identifying specific feature compatibility. Devices displaying specific logos support the identified feature. A device may display a combination of these logos.
Click the Play button in Figures 2 to 4 to view playful videos of the Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi Passpoint, and Wi-Fi Miracast features.