A novel compact printed dipole antenna for wireless local area networks (WLAN) applications is presented. The proposed antenna consists of two radiating patches and four L-shaped slots etched on the patches, which can produce dual bands. Employing a unique tapered structure, good wide impedance matching can be implemented without an external matching circuit, and then wide bandwidths in the two working bands could be achieved conveniently. The proposed antenna yields an impedance bandwidth of 2.2-2.85 and 4.64-7.54-GHz with return loss less than -10-dB. In addition, the antenna has good omnidirectional radiation patterns in the H-plane and low cross-polarisation levels in both the E- and the H-planes. A comparison between measured and simulated results shows good agreement.