This paper proposes efficient and fast retransmission (EFR) schemes for IEEE 802.11 multi-rate wireless networks. Without major modification of IEEE 802.11 standard, EFR provides immediate data transmission for both ad hoc wireless local area networks (WLAN) and infrastructure WLAN. Also, EFR can compensate for high frame error rates resulting from existing poor rate control algorithms. We develop an analytical model and a simulation model to investigate the performance of EFR. Our study indicates that in terms of average medium access control delay, average queuing delay, completion rate and average collision times per transmission. EFR outperforms standard IEEE 802.11 carrier sense multiple access/collision avoidance mechanism.