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Frequently Asked Questions

Q What is 802.11b or Wi-Fi?
A The IEEE 802.11 specification is a wireless LAN standard developed by the IEEE committee in order to specify an "over the air" interface between a wireless client and a base station or Access Point, as well as among wireless clients. The IEEE created the specification but they do not certify equipment, WECA certifies wireless LAN products.

Q What is the difference between and access point and a wireless router?
A Wireless Access Points add wireless to an existing network. An access point will not share your internet connection, you will still need a router for that. Wireless routers will share your internet connection for you as well as add wireless to your network. We recommend a router over an access point if you do not have a router already installed. It will save you time and money installing only a wireless router as well as take up less space in your home or office.

Q Where can I get software/firmware updates for my wireless products?
A Click on the Links below which correspond to the manufacturer of your wireless products

Cisco Wireless Products

Proxim/ORiNOCO Wireless Products

Linksys Wireless Products

SMC Wireless Products

Q What is the connector on the ORiNOCO PC Card used for?
A This connector is for connecting an external antenna. By connecting an external antenna, the PC Card on board antenna are disabled. Lucent provides an optional indoor range extender antenna that can be connected to the PC Card using this connector. This range extender gives an EXTRA coverage improvement of 50%. When used on the AP-1000 side, this antenna will create 50% larger cells.

Q Does the ORiNOCO Wireless PC Card work with other manufacturers PCI/ISA Adapters?
A Sometimes. We recommend only using the Lucent PCI/ISA Adapters because operation with other manufacturer's adapters can cause problems.

Q How many computers can I connect wirelessly to the wireless routers?
A You can connect up to 253 clients (assuming that there are NO users plugged into ports 1-3)

Q What is Infrastructure Mode?
A A wireless network that consists of at least one Access Point connected to the wired network infrastructure and a set of wireless end stations

Q What is Ad-Hoc Mode?
A Set of 802.11b wireless stations that communicate directly with one another without using an access point or any connection to a wired network.

Q What is the maximum distance from a wireless router or access point?
A In ideal situations, 1500 feet is about the maximum distance you can reach with just a wireless access point or wireless router. Generally though it depends on your situation. Metal and Concrete can cause degradation in the signal, as well as microwave ovens and 2.4 GHz phones. If setup properly, a wireless access point or router will give you up to 150 feet indoors and up to 1000 feet outdoors.

Q What is WEP?
A WEP stands for "Wired Equivalent Privacy". It is based on the IEEE 802.11 standard and uses the RC4 encryption algorithm. Enabling WEP allows you to increase security by encrypting data being transferred over your wireless network.

When WEP encryption is enabled, there are two options: 64-bit and 128-bit. 64-bit is the same as 40-bit WEP. The lower level of WEP encryption uses a 40-bit (10 character) "secret key" (set by the user), and a 24-bit "initialization vector" (not under user control). So lower level 40 and 64 bit WEP cards are equivalent in encryption strength and compatibility.

Q What is War Driving or Stumbling?
A War Driving, also called Stumbling, is the act of driving around searching for wireless networks. War Driving is done by people for research purposes like plotting an area of wireless networks, or informing a company of a security risk in their wireless network, as well as by hackers who want to take advantage of those security risks. War Driving has taken it's name from the popular movie "War Games" in which hackers would do something called War Dialing. Read more about it at WarDriving.com and Netstumbler.com.

Q What are DSSS and FHSS?
A Frequency-hopping spread-spectrum (FHSS) uses a narrowband carrier that changes frequency in a pattern that is known to both transmitter and receiver. Properly synchronized, the net effect is to maintain a single logical channel. To an unintended receiver, FHSS appears to be short-duration impulse noise. Direct-sequence spread-spectrum (DSSS) generates a redundant bit pattern for each bit to be transmitted. This bit pattern is called a chip (or chipping code). The longer the chip, the greater the probability that the original data can be recovered. Even if one or more bits in the chip are damaged during transmission, statistical techniques embedded in the radio can recover the original data without the need for retransmission. To an unintended receiver, DSSS appears as low power wideband noise and is rejected (ignored) by most narrowband receivers. Most wireless LAN vendors have been adopting DSSS technology after considering the trade off between cost and performance.
Would the information be intercepted while transmitting on air? WLAN features two-fold protection in security. On the hardware side, to an unintended receiver, DSSS appears as low power wideband noise and is rejected (ignored) by most narrowband receivers. On the software side, WLAN series offer the encryption function (WEP) to enhance security and Access Control. Users can set it up depending on their needs.


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