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Wireless LAN Standards

Wireless LAN / 802.11 WLAN

This discussion of wireless LAN standards is divided into two sections: 802.11 radio frequency (RF) LANs and InfraRed (IR) connectivity. As of this publication of the Technical Compendium the IR sections are not yet prepared but we anticipate their publication in the future.

RF wireless LAN standards are defined in the IEEE 802.11 standard and, as such, are carried on top of 802.2 Logical Link Control. A wireless LAN transceiver, often referred to as an Access Point, acts, essentially, like a bridge: one side is wireless and the other side is Ethernet, for example.

Below is a diagram which represents the fundamental RF wireless LAN type of implementation. An Access Point is attached to the hub or switch. Notebook computers are equipped with PCMCIA wireless LAN adapters. It’s as if the notebooks were wired to the Access Point and the Access Point is acting like a multi-port bridge.

802.11 defines a transmission technology called, “Spread Spectrum”.