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This is a repository for the technical terms and acronyms which crop up in all this wireless networking hoo-ha.

Please feel free to add entries, using the EditText link at the bottom. Try to them as simple and clear as possible. If the term you seek is not defined here, please add it to the listing, and maybe someone will come along and fill it in later. Use blank lines for spacing between entries.

If you can correct an incorrect entry, or clarify an inadequate one, please do so. You can also click on many of the titles to get a very detailed description of the term.

The concept of a glossary in a wiki is a bit strange, it's like including a glossary within an encylopaedia. You can use WordList or TitleSearch instead to get a list of terms instead if you wish.




Numbers


802.11b

The wireless networking standard predominantly used by Melbourne Wireless.


A


Airport

Apple's implementation of the 802.11b or WiFi Standard

AP or Access Point

An AccessPoint is a dumb device, it's usually made up of the same card used in client setups with a bit more software to make it send out "beacon" packets, this then makes devices act by sending all packets via it...

Ad-hoc

Where any node talks directly to the node it wishs to communicate with, if it can't see it, it can't talk.


B


BSS

Basic Service Set. This mode is required to be provided by any node that is going to be a base station in an infrastructure based network. (ie node talks to base station, base station talks to destination node)

Bridge

A client connection more or less, it talks to an AP or another bridge (but not in ad-hoc) and links 2 wired networks together, bridges usually also are able to act as access points, but not usually simultaneously


C


Cardbus

The 32-bit improved version of PCMCIA


D


dB

Decibel - a logarithmic representation of power ratios. See PowerAndGainToDecibels for more information.

DeCSS

A decryptor for the Content Scrambling System (CSS)

DHCP

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (typically used for handing out IP details to clients which request them)

DoS

Denial of Service, a lack of network access caused by flooding a node or path, can be accidental or deliberate (as in DoS attack)

Downconverter


DSSS

Direct sequence spread spectrum. The form of spread spectrum used in 802.11b. See also FHSS.


E


EIRP

Effective Isotropic Radiated power - The power of a radio transmitter multiplied by the total gain of its antenna and feedline. Wireless networks in Australia are allowed 4 watts EIRP between 2.4 and 2.483.5 GHz

Ethernet

A data-link layer (layer 2 in the OSI model) protocol


F


FHSS

Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum. Specified as one of the options in the 802.11 standard, and used by early gear from Proxim, Breeze, RoamAbout, Symbol and others. See also DSSS.


G



H


HF

High Frequency - Otherwise known as Shortwave. Frequencies between 3 and 30 MHz, commonly used for shortwave broadcasting, CB and amateur radio.


I


IBSS mode

Peer-to-peer mode (more?)

IEEE

Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. When followed by a number, refers to a standard adopted by that august body. Hence WiFI is IEEE standard 802.11b, Firewire is IEEE 1394. Blame them.

IPSEC

Short for IP Security. Designed to securely exchange packets at the IP layer (OSI layer 3). Involves encryption of the header with AH or the data with ESP.

ISA

Industry Standard Architecture. An older standard for adding internal cards to the motherboard of your computer. See also PCI


J



K



L


LAN

Local Area Network

LF

Low Frequency - 30 - 300 kHz.

Linux

An open-source version of Unix (linux is actually not a version of unix at all. It's a rewrite. "open sourced unix-like system" is more correct)

LNB

Low Noise Block - a device hooked to a satellite dish's feedhorn that receives the signal at ~4 or 12 Ghz and converts it to a lower frequency for input into a receiver.
 

LoS

Line of Sight


M


MAC

Media Access Control. Includes collision detection (and usually prevention) techniques. Also, MAC Address usually refers to the ethernet address present at the MAC layer. Also, MAC, short name for an Apple Macintosh computer.

MF

Medium Frequency or medium wave - Frequencies between 300 kHz and 300 MHz. Used by AM broadcast stations.

Microwave

Area of radio spectrum from 1.6-30Ghz (the actual extent changes depending who you listen to. http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/ems2.html is one place where spectrum classes are "reasonable")

(the part of the radio spectrum at which 802.11b devices work, around the 2.4 gigahertz frequency. Also a way of preparing tasty pot noodles.)


N


N-connector

Coaxial cable connector used in many UHF (Ultra High Frequency) radio applications. Presents a constant 50 ohm charactistic impedance at frequencies well beyond 1 GHz.

NIC

Network Interface Card.


O


OSPF

Open Shortest Path First - A scheme for route auto-discovery & management (loop discovery, deals with redundant paths, etc etc.)

OpenBSD

Another UNIX-Like Operating System. - Focused on pro-active security and code auditing.


P


PCI

Peripheral Component Interconnect. A standard for adding internal cards to a computer. See also ISA.

PCMCIA

People Can't Memorise Computer Industry Acronyms. Standard for peripheral cards for laptops and other small devices. A common form factor for wireless networking adapters. (actually it stands for Personal Computer Memory Common Interface Adapter)

PHY

Abbreviation for the Physical layer within the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet specification.
In wired ethernet, it is comprised of a Physical Signaling (PLS) subsystem, Attachment Unit Interface (AUI) and the Medium Attachment Unit (MAU).
Examples are 10base-2 (aka thinwire, cheapernet), 10base-T, etc.

Pigtail

connects from the antenna connector on a wireless card or device to an external antenna. Often converts a manufacturer's proprietary connector to a more common type. Or may be directly soldered to a cable. (Also, found near the "output" port of pigs)

PoE

Power over Ethernet


Q


QoS

Quality of Service


R


RAN

Regional (or Residential ?) Area Network

RF

Radio Frequency

Router

Could be a dedicated device such as cisco make, or *nix boxes, and depending on the level of sophistication weather it's dynamic or static routing... most dynamic routing devices are 3rd party to the wireless devices, except in the case of a *nix box.


S


SHF

Super High Frequency - Frequencies between 3 and 30 GHz. 802.11a (5 GHz) wireless networking falls within this region.

Spread Spectrum

A technique for radio transmission of data which uses significantly more bandwidth than is strictly necessary. Spread spectrum was developed originally for secure military communications, but is now used commercially in mobile phones (CDMA) and wireless networks. Spread spectrum communications is more tolerant of co-channel interference and multipath effects than traditional narrownabd communications. External linkTutorial


T


TCP/IP

Transfer Control Protocol/Internet Protocol - the suite of protocols used by the Internet.


U


UHF

Ultra High Frequency - Frequencies between 300 MHz and 3 GHz. Used for UHF TV, commercial 2 way radios, UHF CB and 802.11b wireless networking (2.4-2.83 GHz).

UPN

Universal Public Network

Unix

A multi user, multitasking operating system developed by Bell Labs around 1970.

----------

V


VHF

Frequencies between 30 and 300 MHz. Used for commercial 2 way radio, VHF TV and FM broadcasting.

VPN

Virtual Private Network - technique for creating low cost secure links using encrypted tunnels over public networks such as the Internet.

----------

W


WAN

Wide Area Network

WLAN

Wireless LAN

WiFI

Wireless Industry Forum on Interoperability (?) A standard to ensure different manufacturer's wireless devices can connect to each other

Windows

A non-operating system ( :-) ). Actually, a proprietry operating system produced by Microsoft Corp. Very popular in business and the mass consumer market, but scorned by many serious computer tinkerers. Windows is very closed with little documentation of its API (Application Programming Interface) functions, in contrast to Linux and the free BSD UNIX systems, which come with documentation and full source code.


X



Y



Z



Other Glossaries


Version 7 (current) modified Tue, 03 Jul 2007 23:12:01 +1000 by gummAY
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