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Wireless Routers Glossary

Wireless Routers Glossary

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802.11a is an IEEE wireless networking standard that specifies a maximum data transfer rate of 54Mbps and an operating frequency of 5GHz.


802.11b is an IEEE wireless networking standard that specifies a maximum data transfer rate of 11Mbps and an operating frequency of 2.4GHz.


802.11g is an IEEE wireless networking standard that specifies a maximum data transfer rate of 54Mbps and an operating frequency of 2.4GHz, and it comes with the backward compatibility with 802.11b devices.

NOTE:  802.11b and 802.11g standards use the 2.4 gigahertz(GHz) band. Because of this choice of frequency band, 802.11b and 802.11g equipment can incur interference from microwave ovens, cordless telephones, bluetooth devices, and other appliances using this same band. The 802.11a standard uses the 5 GHz band, and is therefore not affected by products operating on the 2.4 GHz band.


The next generation of high-speed wireless networking standard, the draft 802.11n standard specifies a maximum data transfer rate of up to 540Mbps. It is built on the basis of previous 802.11 standards with the addition of MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output) technology. It is required to be backward compatible and interoperable with 802.11b/g devices. The final 802.11n specification is expected to be approved in 2007 so that contemporary 802.11n-supporting products can provide different maximum data transfer rates (e.g. 270Mbps, 300Mbps)

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The AP (Access Point) is a device that allows wireless-equipped computers and other devices to communicate with a wired network. An installed wireless adapter must communicate and connect to an Access Point to provide a computer with access to a wireless network.


A unit of data that is usually eight bits long.


IPSec (IP Security) is a protocol used to secure the exchange of data packages at the IP layer. It is widely used in VPNs to protect data packages.


Kbps (Kilobits or 1 thousand bits per Second) is a unit of measurement for data transmission.


Layer Two Tunneling Protocol, a tunneling protocol used to support VPNs.


Local Area Network, a small-area computer network—the home network is a typical example.

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MAC address

Media Access Control address – e.g. 00-05-5D-85-6A-74.


Mbps (Megabits 1 million bits per Second) is a unit of measurement for data transmission.


Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol, a method used to create VPNs to secure data message between two VPN nodes.


Service Set Identifier, the ID or name of wireless network. It can be a string of up to 32 alphanumeric characters. The wireless network client must know the SSID before it can make a wireless connection to the network.


VPN is short for Visual Private Network. It is used to secure the actual transmission of data from one specific location to location over the network (in most cases the Internet). Only authorized users can access the VPN and data cannot be intercepted.


WAN (Wide Area Network) is a computer network in a large area containing two or more LANs. For example, the Internet is the world’s largest WAN.


WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) is a security protocol for wireless networks. It aims to protect data via encryption over radio waves with point-to-point transmission. A shared key (similar to a password) is used to allow communication between the wireless adapter and the wireless AP/router.


WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) is built on the foundation of WEP. WPA also protects wireless data transmission via a key similar to WEP, but the added strength of WPA is in its automatic encryption key changes making it much more difficult for a hacker to invade a wireless network.


As the successor to WPA, WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2) is offered to users requiring the highest level of wireless security and is capable of offering a stronger encryption mechanism over WPA via AES (Advanced Encryption Standard).

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