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More Technical Questions

Q: How does wireless work? 

A: A wireless network is a type of Local Area Network (LAN) that uses high frequency radio waves rather than wires to communicate and transmit data among nodes. Connection sites called Access Points allow users with wireless cards to access their network and the internet without the expense of laying cables.


Q:  What is a WLAN?

A:  WLAN stands for Wireless Local-Area Network. WLAN uses high-frequency radio waves rather than wires to communicate.


Q: What is the data throughput speed of an 802.11b WLAN network connection?

A: 802.11b WLANs operate up to speeds of 11 Mbps. WLAN throughput speed depends on network topology, load, distance from the access point, etc.

New technologies are evolving all the time, including 802.11a, and the newly ratified 802.11g.


Q: What is an Access Point?

A: A data transceiver that uses radio waves to connect a wired network with client workstations equipped with wireless adapters.


Q: What is WiFi?

A: Wi-Fi is short for wireless fidelity and is another name for IEEE 802.11b. "Wi-Fi" is often used in place of 802.11. Products certified as Wi-Fi by WECA are interoperable with each other even if they are from different manufacturers. A user with a Wi-Fi product can use any brand of access point with any other brand of client hardware that is built to the Wi-Fi standard.


Q: What is 802.11b?

A: 802.11b is a technical specification issued by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) that defines the operation of 2.4 GHz, 11 Mbps, Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs).


Q: What is 802.11g?

A: 802.11g is a standard for communicating between multiple devices using wireless.  802.11g communicates at 54 megabits per second, also in the 2.4 Ghz Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum. It is interoperable with 802.11b.


Q. What is 802.11a?

A: 802.11a works in the 5Ghz band using an ODFM encoding stream, and is able to transfer data at 54 megabits per second, but over shorter distances. It is believed that 802.11b and 802.11a will complement and co-exist with each other.


Q: Are 802.11a products backward compatible with 802.11b products?

A: No. Short of replacing the radios, there is currently no defined upgrade path between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz technologies.


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