Glossary of Wireless terms, Ad Hoc, MAC, Channel, Ethernet

Access Point
An internetworking device that seamlessly connects wired and wireless networks. Access Points combined with a distributed system support the creation of multiple radio cells that enable roaming throughout a facility.

Ad Hoc
A network composed solely of stations within mutual communication range of each other (no Access Point connected).

Basic Service Set ID. Wireless MAC address of the device that controls the wireless network. In infrastructure mode, this is the base station, in Ad-hoc mode, it is the wireless adpater itself.

A medium used to pass protocol data units that can be used simultaneously in the same volume of space by other channels of the same physical layer, with an acceptably low frame error ratio due to mutual interference.

Extended Service Set. A set of one or more interconnected Basic Service Sets (BSSs) and integrated Local Area Networks (LANs) can be configured as an Extended Service Set.

The most widely used medium access method, which is defined by the IEEE 802.3 standard. Ethernet is normally a shared media LAN; i.e., all the devices on the network segment share total bandwidth. Ethernet networks operate at 10Mbps using CSMA/CD to run over 10BaseT cables.

A network component that acts as an entrance to another network.

IEEE 802.11
The IEEE 802.xx is a set of specifications for LANs from the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). Most wired networks conform to 802.3, the specification for CSMA/CD-based Ethernet networks or 802.5, the specification for token ring networks. 802.11 defines the standard for wireless LANs encompassing three incompatible (non-interoperable) technologies: Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS), Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS), and Infrared. IEEE standards ensure interoperability between systems of the same type.

A wireless network centered about an Access Point. In this environment, the Access Point not only provides communication with the wired network but also mediates wireless network traffic in the immediate neighborhood.

Internet Protocol. The standard protocol within TCP/IP that defines the basic unit of information passed across an Internet connection by breaking down data messages into packets, routing and transporting the packets over network connections, then reassembling the packets at their destination. IP corresponds to the network layer in the ISO/OSI model.

IP Address
An IP address is a 32-bit number that identifies each sender or receiver of information sent across the Internet. An IP address has two parts: the identifier of a particular network on the Internet and an identifier of the particular device (which can be a server or a workstation) within that network.

MAC Address
A unique number that identifies a network adapter (wireless or not).

Radio Frequency
RR, Terms: GHz, MHz, Hz The international unit for measuring frequency is Hertz (Hz), equivalent to the older unit of cycles per second. One megahertz (MHz) is one Million-Hertz. One giga hertz (GHz) is one Billion-Hertz. The standard U.S. electrical power frequency is 60 Hz, the AM broadcast radio frequency band is 0.551.6 MHz, the FM broadcast radio frequency band is 88108 MHz, and wireless 802.11 LANs operate at 2.4GHz.

Service Set ID. A group name shared by every member of a wireless network. Only client PCs with the same SSID are allowed to establish a connection.

Wired Equivalent Privacy. The optional cryptographic confidentiality algorithm specified by 802.11. The algorithm is being used to provide data confidentiality that is subjectively equivalent to the confidentiality of a wired network medium that does not employ cryptographic techniques to enhance privacy.

Wi-Fi Protected Access. The next step in wireless security after WEP. WPA uses a different algorithm that automatically and regularly generate new network keys so it is virtually impossible for a hacker to crack the key.

Wireless Security WEP WPA WPA-PSK

Wireless routers are designed to be easy to protect against unwanted connection. It is recommended that you set-up security as soon as you have successfully installed the product and checked that default settings work to connect to the Internet.

WEP and WPA wireless security mechanism to protect data transmitted over the wireless network and to prevent unauthorised connection. Access list based are based on MAC Addresses so you can specify which wireless adapters are authorised to use your network.
First you need to decide the type of wireless security you want to use. Please Consult your Router Manual.

WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) is the security used as standard in older 802.11b wireless networks. Select 64-bit WEP or 128-bit WEP if: You wish to connect older wireless adapters that do not support WPA (see opposite) such as the BT Voyager 1010/1020 to your wireless network now or in the future WPA or WPA-PSK

WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) is the next generation of security for wireless networks. WPA-PSK is the version of WPA specific for the home or small office users because it does not require an authentication server. With WPA-PSK, your network key is regularly and automatically changed so hackers cannot decode the key by listening to your connection.

Select WPA-PSK if: All your wireless adapters support WPA. Check your wireless adapter’s specification.
You wish to benefit from the additional security offered by WPA over standard WEP

For help on Enterprises security with WPA or 802.1x,  please refer Router Manual