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802.11 Wireless LANs > 802.11 Wireless LANs - Pg. 278

278 Chapter 11 802.11 Wireless LANs Wireless LANs are specified by the IEEE 802.11 series standard [1], which describes various technologies and protocols for wireless LANs to achieve different targets, allowing the maximum bit rate from 2 Mbits per second to 248 Mbits per second. Wireless LANs can work in either access point (AP) mode or ad hoc mode, as shown in Figure 11.3. When a wireless LAN is working in AP mode, all communication passes through a base station, called an access point. The access point then passes the communication data to the destination node, if it is connected to the access point, or forwards the communication data to a router for further routing and relaying. When working in ad hoc mode, wireless LANs work in the absence of base stations. Nodes directly communicate with other nodes within their transmission range, without depending on a base station. One of the complications that 802.11 wireless LANs incur is medium access control in the data link layer. Medium access control in 802.11 wireless LANs can be either distributed or centralized control by a base station. The distributed medium access control relies on the Carrier Sense Multiple Access (CSMA) with Collision Avoidance (CSMA/CA) protocol. CSMA/CA allows network nodes to compete to transmit data when a channel is idle and uses the Ethernet binary exponential backoff algorithm to decide a waiting time before