Wireless networking center

Common Wireless Related Terms


802.11 - A standard for wireless local area networks (WLAN) developed by a working group of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).


802.11a - An international IEEE standard for WLAN networks, operating at 5 GHz and providing 54Mbps. Range up to 30m.


802.11b - An international IEEE standard for WLAN networks, operating at 2.4 GHz and providing 11 Mbps. Range up to 100m.


802.11g - An international IEEE standard for WLAN networks, operating at 2.4 GHz and providing 54Mbps. Range up to 100m.


Access Point - A transceiver or radio component in a wireless LAN that acts as the transfer point between wired and wireless signal, and vice versa. The Access Point (AP) is connected to antennas as well as to the wired LAN system.


Ad-Hoc Network - An Ad-Hoc wireless LAN is a group of computers each with wireless adapters, connected as an independent wireless LAN.


Bridge - A device which connects two or more networks.


Domain Name Server (DNS) - The server where host names are translated to their IP address. This server is used on the internet and some private networks.


Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) - A protocol for assigning dynamic IP addresses to devices on a network. In some systems, the device's IP address can even change while it is still connected.


Firewall - Any software program or hardware device designed to prevent computers on a network from communicating directly with external computer systems by filtering the information coming through the Internet connection into your private network or computer system . A Firewall keeps hackers out and personal data in by acting as a barrier through which all information passing between the network or computer and external systems must pass.


Hot Spot - A hotspot is a public location such as an airport, shopping mall or conference center that has readily accessible wireless networks, usually 802.11b or 802.11a.


Media Access Control Address (MAC Address) - The unique physical address of each device's network interface card.


Repeater - A device used in a network to strengthen a signal as it is passed along the network cable.


Router - An active network component that connects one network to another network. Routers work with packets that include logical addressing information.


Service Set Identifier (SSID) - Service set identifier. A unique identifier that stations must use to be able to communicate with an access point. The SSID can be any alphanumeric entry up to a maximum of 32 characters.


SSID Broadcasting - To “announce” the Access Points presence by broadcasting the SSID.


Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) - The protocols, or conventions, that computers use to communicate over the Internet.


Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) - a system to secure Wi-Fi networks, intended to replace the current, less secure WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) system. Part of the IEEE 802.11i standard.


Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) - an encryption system that encrypts data on wireless networks that can only be read by authorized users with the correct decryption key.


Wireless Fidelity (WI-FI) - another name for IEEE 802.11b. A wireless networking technology for PCs and PDAs that allows multiple devices to share a single high-speed Internet connection over a distance of about 300 feet.


Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) - A wireless LAN is one in which a mobile user can connect to a local area network (LAN) through a wireless (radio) connection.


Wireless Network - A network in which data is transmitted without wires, increasing mobility of the user and their access to data.