Wireless Support

What is?

 

This "WHAT IS?" section will help you to become familiar with some of the terms used in this web site:

What is wireless?

What is a wireless access point?

What is IEEE 802.11?

What is  802.11b

What is  802.11a

What is 802.11g

What is a WLAN? 

What is an antenna?

What is an SSID?

What is a WEP key?

 

What is wireless?

Wireless systems use radio waves and frequencies to allow transmission of information without a physical connection. An example of wireless are FM and AM Radio stations. Wireless networks use radio waves to transmit computer data without requiring a physical connection like copper wires or fiber-optic cables.

What is a wireless access point?

A wireless access point (AP) is a networking device that connects wireless computers to the data network. The AP connects to a wired local area network, and enables transmission of data between wireless computers and the wired network. A wireless network may be comprised of multiple Wireless APs. Wireless access points require IP addresses to connect to a data network.

What is IEEE 802.11?

IEEE 802.11, is a set of wireless networking standards, developed by the working group 11 of the IEEE LAN/MAN Standards Committee (IEEE 802).

What is  802.11b

The 802.11b is a wireless protocol (part of the 802.11 family) that was established in 1999. The 802.11b standard allows computers to connect wirelessly to the IP network at a speed of 11 Mb/sec. The 802.11b standard is widely deployed at most schools. The 802.11b standard uses frequencies in the 2.4 GHz range.

What is  802.11a

Originally ratified in 1999, the 802.11a standard is also is a wireless protocol that allows computers to connect wirelessly to the IP network at a high speed data rate of 54 Mb/sec. You may find some 802.11a  computers deployed at your school. The 802.11a standard uses frequencies in the 5 GHz range.

What is 802.11g  

The 802.11g standard was created in June 2003. Like the 802.11b standard, it works in the 2.4 GHz frequency but it is much faster than 802.11b. 802.11g can connect computers at speeds as high as 54 Mb/sec. The 802.11g and 802.11b standards are backward compatible, which mean they work with each other just fine!

What is a WLAN? 

A WLAN is a Wireless Local Area Network that uses one of the wireless protocols above to connect computers over the air waves. It also allows a mobile user (like you!) to connect to a local area network (LAN) through a wireless AP connection.

What is an antenna?

An antenna is a device used to transmit or receive radio waves. A wireless AP and a wireless computer requires an antenna to connect over the air. An antenna along with air wave frequencies replace the cable to provide a means to transport your email, internet, etc. over the air.

What is an SSID?

The SSID is the name of your wireless network. Wireless computers in your school must use the same SSID in order to "talk" to each other and gain access to the network.

SSID stands for "Service Set Identifier". It is a unique combination of characters and numbers that form a customized name, that designates your access privileges to a wireless network. The SSID is set by the network administrators, and is configured to your wireless Access Point. Your laptops and wireless devices must be configured with the same SSID as the AP that is within range of your network.

What is a WEP key?

A WEP Key is essentially an encrypted password for your wireless network. WEP is an acronym for Wired Equivalent Protocol. This protocol utilizes a digital code (WEP key) to encrypt and transfer data on your network. Remember that data you send over a wireless network is transmitted over the air and is initially unsecured. A WEP Key is essential for your wireless network security, it's purpose is to prevent intruders from viewing your data. Your laptop uses the WEP key (40 bit or 64 bit encryption) that you enter in the configuration to encrypt data. Your AP in turn, is configured with the same WEP key which uses it to decrypt the data sent by your computer. WEP key is a private setting. DO NOT share your WEP key with anybody, just as you would not share your private email password with others.