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WLAN Terminology

This page on WLAN terminology describes terms related to WLAN or Wireless LAN technology. It covers what is wlan, 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, 802.11ac, wifi hotspot, wifi access point, wifi station, 802.11ad, WLAN router etc.

WLAN Terms Basic description RF Wireless World Reference
WLAN Wireless Local Area Network, the wireless extension of the LAN using wifi bands is referred as WLAN. what is wlan
802.11a One of the version of WLAN standard with OFDM modulation and speed upto 54 Mbps. It supports RF carrier frequency of 5GHz and bandwidth of about 20MHz. 802.11a basics
802.11b One of the version of WLAN standard. It supports DSSS and CCK modulation schemes. It has max. data rate support of 11Mbps. It operates at 2.4GHz frequency. 802.11b in depth
802.11g Supports both the variants of WLAN i.e. 11a and 11b. It supports RF frequency of 2.4GHz. 11g comparison with 11a,11b,11n
802.11n Supports legacy standards viz. 11a, 11b and 11g. In addition it supports new modes such as green field mode. It supports higher data rate with the addition of MIMO. 11n physical layer
802.11ac Capabilities of 11n is further increased in WLAN 802.11ac version. It supports all the legacy versions till 802.11n. In addition MIMO capabilities have been increased further in 11ac. It supports multiuser transmission, beamforming and multiuser MIMO. 802.11ac overview
WiFi hotspot The kiosks made to provide free and paid wifi service to access the internet at selected outlets, malls etc. is referred as wifi hotspots. WiFi hotspot
Access Point Access Point is the terminal which provides wifi connectivity to number of wifi subscribes(i.e. Stations). It is similar to router. It will be interfaced with internet service provider on one end and other end is wireless through which all the stations will be connected to obtain the wifi service.
Station The users or subscribers having wlan or wifi capabilities are referred as stations.
802.11ad 802.11ad features
WLAN router The device which provides supports to route the packet through the WLAN network is referred as WLAN router. WiFi Router
BSS Basic Service Set, a set of stations which are controlled using a common coordination function. Coordination function determines whether stations within BSS is permitted to transmit and receive or not.
DS Distribution System, the system which connects BSSs and integrated LANs to make ESS.
ESS Extended Service Set, a set of one or more BSSs and LANs. This appears as single BSS to LLC layer.
MPDU MAC Protocol Data Unit, unit of data which is exchanged between two peer MAC entities using PHY layer.
MSDU MAC Service Data Unit, Information exchanged as unit between two MAC users.

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RF and Wireless Terminologies


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