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Glossary

  • Airport. The marketing name used by Apple for the wireless networking supported by Macintosh computers (iBook, PowerBook, etc). 'Airport' cards and basestations are based on the 802.11b wireless standard; 'Airport Extreme' equipment is based on the newer and faster 802.11g.
  • 802.11a. An IEEE wireless standard that was defined subsequent to 802.11b. It operates in the 5GHz radio frequency range - meaning that it is incompatible with the 802.11b and 802.11g standards.
  • 802.11b. The original IEEE wireless standard. It operates at 11Mbit/s in the 2.4Ghz radio frequency range.
  • 802.11g. A more recent IEEE wireless standard, operating at up to 54Mbit/s in the same radio frequency range as the earlier 'b' standard. 802.11g devices are also compatible with 802.11b devices, although they operate at the slower speed in this mode.
  • 802.11n. The most recent ratification of the IEEE wireless standard. This protocol operates within the 2.4GHz or 5GHz spectrum. This protocol can provide up to 130Mbps on a 20MHz operating channel on 2.4GHz and up to 300Mbps on a 40MHz operating channel on 5GHz. Both of these configurations are available at the University.
  • Wi-Fi. Short for 'Wireless Fidelity'. A branding scheme for 802.11a/b/g equipment from different vendors; equipment from one vendor badged with the 'Wi-Fi' branding should be compatible with other vendors equipment.
  • WPA2 Enterprise. WPA2 stands for Wi-Fi Protected Access 2. This is a scalable mechanism used for providing authentication from a central resource. A variant of this, WPA2 Personal, is typically used in home or small office setups using a Pre-shared key to protect access.
  • AES. This is the method by which the data is encrypted on our WPA2 networks. WPA2 implements 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption with the use of Counter Mode with Cipher Block Chaining Message Authentication Code Protocol (CCMP).