Wireless access point

access pointaccess pointsWAPAPwireless access points(wireless) access pointsWi-Fi access pointAccess Point (AP)Access Point deviceaccess points (AP)
In computer networking, a wireless access point (WAP), or more generally just access point (AP), is a networking hardware device that allows other Wi-Fi devices to connect to a wired network.wikipedia
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Wi-Fi

WiFiwireless internetwireless
In computer networking, a wireless access point (WAP), or more generally just access point (AP), is a networking hardware device that allows other Wi-Fi devices to connect to a wired network.
Wi-Fi compatible devices can connect to the Internet via a WLAN and a wireless access point.

Hotspot (Wi-Fi)

hotspotWi-Fi hotspothotspots
An AP is differentiated from a hotspot, which is the physical location where Wi-Fi access to a WLAN is available.
Public hotspots are typically created from wireless access points configured to provide Internet access, controlled to some degree by the venue.

Networking hardware

network equipmentnetwork hardwarenetworking equipment
In computer networking, a wireless access point (WAP), or more generally just access point (AP), is a networking hardware device that allows other Wi-Fi devices to connect to a wired network.
Networking devices may include gateways, routers, network bridges, modems, wireless access points, networking cables, line drivers, switches, hubs, and repeaters; and may also include hybrid network devices such as multilayer switches, protocol converters, bridge routers, proxy servers, firewalls, network address translators, multiplexers, network interface controllers, wireless network interface controllers, ISDN terminal adapters and other related hardware.

Wireless ad hoc network

ad hocwireless ad hoc networksad hoc network
Some people confuse wireless access points with wireless ad hoc networks.
The network is ad hoc because it does not rely on a pre-existing infrastructure, such as routers in wired networks or access points in managed (infrastructure) wireless networks.

Internet access

broadband internetbroadbandbroadband Internet access
Internet access via ad hoc networks, using features like Windows' Internet Connection Sharing, may work well with a small number of devices that are close to each other, but ad hoc networks don't scale well.
Wi-Fi networks are built using one or more wireless antenna called access points.

Wireless LAN

WLANwireless local area networkwireless
An AP is differentiated from a hotspot, which is the physical location where Wi-Fi access to a WLAN is available. An AP connects directly to a wired local area network, typically Ethernet, and the AP then provides wireless connections using wireless LAN technology, typically Wi-Fi, for other devices to use that wired connection.
Wireless stations fall into two categories: wireless access points, and clients.

Wi-Fi Protected Access

WPAWPA2WPA/WPA2
The first generation encryption scheme, WEP, proved easy to crack; the second and third generation schemes, WPA and WPA2, are considered secure if a strong enough password or passphrase is used.
However, since the changes required in the wireless access points (APs) were more extensive than those needed on the network cards, most pre-2003 APs could not be upgraded to support WPA.

IEEE 802.11ac

802.11acac11ac
While (as of 2013) high-density 256-QAM (TurboQAM) modulation, 3-antenna wireless devices for the consumer market can reach sustained real-world speeds of some 240 Mbit/s at 13 m behind two standing walls (NLOS) depending on their nature or 360 Mbit/s at 10 m line of sight or 380 Mbit/s at 2 m line of sight (IEEE 802.11ac) or 20 to 25 Mbit/s at 2 m line of sight (IEEE 802.11g), wired hardware of similar cost reaches closer to 1000 Mbit/s up to specified distance of 100 m with twisted-pair cabling in optimal conditions (Category 5 (known as Cat-5) or better cabling with Gigabit Ethernet).

Internet Connection Sharing

connection sharingICS
Internet access via ad hoc networks, using features like Windows' Internet Connection Sharing, may work well with a small number of devices that are close to each other, but ad hoc networks don't scale well.
Alternatives to ICS include hardware home routers and Wireless access points with integrated Internet access hardware, such as broadband over power lines, WiMAX or DSL modems.

RADIUS

AAARadius billingRemote Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS)
Some APs support hotspot style authentication using RADIUS and other authentication servers.
These networks may incorporate modems, digital subscriber line (DSL), access points, virtual private networks (VPNs), network ports, web servers, etc.

Femtocell

femtofemtocellsaccess point base station
Femtocell – a local-area base station using cellular network standards such as UMTS, rather than Wi-Fi
The distinction is that most FMC architectures require a new dual-mode handset which works with existing unlicensed spectrum home/enterprise wireless access points, while a femtocell-based deployment will work with existing handsets but requires the installation of a new access point that uses licensed spectrum.

Wi-Fi Direct

DirectDirect Wi-FiWiFi Direct network
Wi-Fi Direct – a Wi-Fi standard that enables devices to connect with each other without requiring a (hardware) wireless access point and to communicate at typical Wi-Fi speeds
Wi-Fi Direct, initially called Wi-Fi P2P, is a Wi-Fi standard enabling devices to easily connect with each other without requiring a wireless access point.

Lightweight Access Point Protocol

LWAPP – Lightweight Access Point Protocol used to manage a large set of APs
Lightweight Access Point Protocol or LWAPP is the name of a protocol that can control multiple Wi-Fi wireless access points at once.

Wired Equivalent Privacy

WEPopenThe Pychkine-Tews-Weinmann attack
The first generation encryption scheme, WEP, proved easy to crack; the second and third generation schemes, WPA and WPA2, are considered secure if a strong enough password or passphrase is used.
To add support for WPA or WPA2, some old Wi-Fi access points might need to be replaced or have their firmware upgraded.

Xirrus

wi-fi arrayWireless Arrays
Wi-Fi Array System of multiple APs
Xirrus currently manufactures multiple radios that combine a WLAN switch and APs into a single device which they call a Wi-Fi Array. Each Array unit bundles the controller with 4, 8, 12, 16 or 24 access points, and a special sectored directional antenna, into a single package.

IEEE 802.11i-2004

802.11iWPA2i
The first generation encryption scheme, WEP, proved easy to crack; the second and third generation schemes, WPA and WPA2, are considered secure if a strong enough password or passphrase is used.
1) The AP sends a nonce-value (ANonce) to the STA together with a Key Replay Counter, which is a number that is used to match each pair of messages sent, and discard replayed messages. The STA now has all the attributes to construct the PTK.

WiMAX

Wireless Broadband4G WiMAXmobile WiMAX
WiMAX – wide-area wireless standard that has a few elements in common with Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi uses contention access — all subscriber stations that wish to pass data through a wireless access point (AP) are competing for the AP's attention on a random interrupt basis. This can cause subscriber stations distant from the AP to be repeatedly interrupted by closer stations, greatly reducing their throughput.

Ethernet

wiredJabbernetworking
An AP connects directly to a wired local area network, typically Ethernet, and the AP then provides wireless connections using wireless LAN technology, typically Wi-Fi, for other devices to use that wired connection.

Multiplayer video game

multiplayeronline multiplayertwo-player
Because setup is easy and does not require an access point, an ad hoc network is used in situations such as a quick data exchange or a multiplayer video game.

Bluetooth

Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR4.0Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
Due to its peer-to-peer layout, ad hoc Wi-Fi connections are similar to connections available using Bluetooth.

Ad hoc network

ad hoc networkingAd Hocad-hoc network
Internet access via ad hoc networks, using features like Windows' Internet Connection Sharing, may work well with a small number of devices that are close to each other, but ad hoc networks don't scale well.

Microsoft Windows

WindowsPCWin
Internet access via ad hoc networks, using features like Windows' Internet Connection Sharing, may work well with a small number of devices that are close to each other, but ad hoc networks don't scale well.

Local area network

LANlocal networklocal
An AP connects directly to a wired local area network, typically Ethernet, and the AP then provides wireless connections using wireless LAN technology, typically Wi-Fi, for other devices to use that wired connection.

IEEE 802.11

802.11802.11b/g/n802.11b/g
It is generally recommended that one IEEE 802.11 AP should have, at a maximum, 15-25 clients per radio (most APs having between 1 and 4 radios).

Antenna (radio)

antennaantennasradio antenna
However, the actual maximum number of clients that can be supported can vary significantly depending on several factors, such as type of APs in use, density of client environment, desired client throughput, etc. The range of communication can also vary significantly, depending on such variables as indoor or outdoor placement, height above ground, nearby obstructions, other electronic devices that might actively interfere with the signal by broadcasting on the same frequency, type of antenna, the current weather, operating radio frequency, and the power output of devices.