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Chapter 12: Wireless Networking > Wireless Network Components

Wireless Network Components

Though it might not seem this way to you right now, wireless networks are less complex than their wired cousins because they require fewer components. To make a wireless network work properly, all you really need are two main devices: a wireless access point and a wireless NIC. This also makes it a lot easier to install a wireless network because, basically, you just need an understanding of these two components in order to do so.

Wireless Access Points

You’ll find a central component—like a hub or switch—in the vast majority of wired networks that serves to connect hosts together and allow them to communicate with each other. It’s the same idea with wireless networks. They also have a component that connects all wireless devices together, only that device is known as a wireless access point (WAP), or just AP. Wireless access points have at least one antenna (sometimes two for better reception—a solution called diversity) and a port to connect them to a wired network. Figure 12-8 shows an example of a typical wireless access point.


  

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