Explanation of wireless networking terms

Article ID: ART143915 | Date published: 05/13/2015 | Date last updated: 09/03/2019


Explanation of wireless networking terms


Terms related to wireless LAN are explained here.

Access pointThe device that relays the radio waves when creating a wireless LAN network. In some cases, it also indicates where the wireless LAN can connect to the Internet.
Ad hoc modeOne of the methods for making connections in a wireless LAN. Without going through an access point, the devices involved communicate directly with each other. It is also called peer-to-peer communication.
Default gatewayWhen connecting from a network to an external network (such as the Internet), this device serves as the point of entry/exit among similar networks.
DHCP ServerA server that automatically assigns IP addresses. DHCP is an abbreviation for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol.
Encryption keyThe key used to encrypt data when communicating with an access point.
Encryption methodA means of encrypting Wi-Fi communications. In order of highest encryption strength, there are: WPA2-PSK (AES) / WPA-PSK (AES), WPA2-PSK (TKIP) / WPA-PSK (TKIP), and WEP.
FirewallA security system for protecting the network from external threats, such as computer viruses or unauthorized access. Set either in the router for the wireless LAN or in the computer's operating system.
Infrastructure modeOne of the methods for making connections in a wireless LAN. The devices involved connect through an access point.
IP addressThe address used to recognize devices on a network.
LANA network in a home or office that connects computers and communication devices. LAN is an abbreviation for Local Area Network.
MAC addressA dedicated address assigned in advance to a device on a network. Also called the device's physical address.
PIN codeAn authentication password used to identify a device. PIN is an abbreviation for Personal Identification Number.
Primary DNS server Secondary DNS serverA server that converts computer domain names into IP addresses. DNS is an abbreviation for Domain Name System.
SSID / ESSIDA string of alphanumeric characters used to indicate a specific access point. Also called the access point name or the network name.
Stealth functionA function in which the SSID for the wireless router (access point) is not broadcast for other devices to detect. Used to prevent connections to the network from unauthorized devices.
Subnet maskThis value is used to request the network address from the IP address when distinguishing between the network address and host address for the IP address.
Wi-FiThe name of a method for connecting devices on a wireless LAN that has been certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance. Wi-Fi is an abbreviation for Wireless Fidelity.



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