IEEE 802 is a family of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) standards for local area networks (LAN), personal area network (PAN), and metropolitan area networks (MAN). The IEEE 802 LAN/MAN Standards Committee (LMSC) maintains these standards. The IEEE 802 family of standards has had twenty-four members, numbered 802.1 through 802.24, with a working group of the LMSC devoted to each. However, not all of these working groups are currently active.

The IEEE 802 standards are restricted to computer networks carrying variable-size packets, unlike cell relay networks, for example, in which data is transmitted in short, uniformly sized units called cells. Isochronous signal networks, in which data is transmitted as a steady stream of octets, or groups of octets, at regular time intervals, are also outside the scope of the IEEE 802 standards.

The number 802 has no significance: it was simply the next number in the sequence that the IEEE used for standards projects.[1]

The services and protocols specified in IEEE 802 map to the lower two layers (data link and physical) of the seven-layer Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) networking reference model. IEEE 802 divides the OSI data link layer into two sub-layers: logical link control (LLC) and medium access control (MAC), as follows:

The most widely used standards are for Ethernet, Bridging and Virtual Bridged LANs, Wireless LAN, Wireless PAN, Wireless MAN, Wireless Coexistence, Media Independent Handover Services, and Wireless RAN. [2]

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