Third generation cellular service; expected to handle voice communication as well as broadband data access and live video. Slowly being rolled out.
IEEE networking standard providing 54 Mbps speed in the 5 GHz band. Not supported by Apple.
IEEE networking standard providing 11 Mbps speed in the 2.4 GHz band. Apple refers to this as "AirPort." 802.11g, also known as "AirPort Extreme," has superseded it.
IEEE networking standard providing 54 Mbps speed in the 2.4 GHz band. Apple refers to this as "AirPort Extreme." Backward compatible with 802.11b.
A draft IEEE standard to address security concerns in wireless networks. It uses a combination of 802.1X, TKIP, and AES to secure wireless networks.
A port-based authentication mechanism for wired and wireless networks.
A hardware device that connects wireless users to a wired local network; also referred to as an AP or base station.
A wireless network consisting of two or more devices communicating with each other without an access point. Also known as computer-to-computer networks.
Advanced Encryption Standard is the U.S. government's next-generation cryptography algorithm that will be used in future versions of 802.11i and replace DES and 3DES.
A provider who allows access to hotspots run by multiple providers with a single membership.
See Access Point.
In a WLAN using 802.1X and EAP, a supplicant requests access to an authenticator, which requests the supplicant's identity, which is then passed to an authenticating server. This server (which may use RADIUS) follows its set algorithm to decide whether to accept or reject the supplicant.
In a WLAN using 802.1X and EAP, a supplicant requests access to an AP, which is known as the authenticator. The AP requests the supplicant's identity, which is then passed to an authenticating server, which then either accepts or rejects the supplicant.
See Access Point.
A short-range wireless protocol used for connecting peripherals to a computer and to each other. Typically used in cell phones, keyboards, mice, and PDA's.
A device that connects one LAN to another LAN, either of which may be a WLAN.
A web page that offers you the opportunity to sign in to a secured public Wi-Fi network. At a for-pay Wi-Fi provider, this is where you make your payment arrangements.
Code Division Multiple Access, a protocol used by a family of cellular technologies, some of which are 2G and some of which are nearly 3G in performance. Used today in the USA, South America, and Korea. There are CDMA networks being built in various countries.
A 3G flavor of CDMA; the data side is known as 1xRTT.
Cellular Digital Packet Data, a popular 1G cellular telephone specification supporting wireless Internet access via packet switching on an AMPS800 network. Supports up to 19.2 Kbps, but is being phased out in favor of 2.5G and 3G.
A package from Intel that puts wireless networking and a Pentium processor on a single chip.
A network with almost 17 million possible IP addresses.
A network with almost 66,000 IP possible IP addresses.
A network with up to 254 possible IP addresses.
A WISP, set up by a local community for the benefit of that community.
See Ad-hoc network.
Circuit Switched Data is a service used for data and fax calls on GSM networks, with a rate of 9.6 Kbps to 14.4 Kbps.
Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, a method for automatically assigning unique IP addresses.
Two Bluetooth devices that are within each other's range can be paired when they are both discoverable by the other.
A computer on a wireless network that is purposefully exposed to the Internet.
The four parts of a numeric IP address, combined together.
An IP address assigned by an ISP. Costs less than a static IP address, but is subject to change at the ISP's whim.
Extensible Authentication Protocols, a standard protocol for handling security on a network.
Enhanced Data GSM Environment, a faster version of GSM wireless service. Delivers rates up to 384 Kbps using existing frequencies. Requires equipment that can access EDGE and base station upgrades for providers.
A firewall is used to intercept packets coming in from the Internet before they reach computers inside the network.
The software run by hardware chips; it can be updated via firmware upgrades.
General Packet Radio Service, a data service that supplements other data services such as CSD and SMS.
Global System for Mobile communications, the most widely used of the three digital wireless telephone technologies (the others are TDMA and CDMA).
A computer on a TCP/IP network.
The last number in a dotted quad, which identifies the particular machine on a network.
Any location that offers wireless Internet access.
A high-speed version of CSD, with a data rate of up to 43.2 Kbps.
A device that connects multiple computers together, generally via Ethernet.
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers is the organization that creates standards such as the 802.11 family. Pronounced eye-triple-E.
The Internet Engineering Task Force is a working group that manages standards such as Zeroconf.
A component of WEP, used to increase the unpredictability of the encryption scheme.
The ability of one computer to act as a base station via software, providing wireless network access for other local computers. Formerly referred to as a software base station.
Internet Protocol is how data is sent between computers on the Internet.
A computer's address on the Internet. A machine name (such as www.example.com) is converted into an IP address, which is then used to find that machine.
32-bit scheme used to currently identify up to 4.3 billion hosts on the Internet.
128-bit scheme that is slowly superseding IPv4.
Infrared, a line-of-sight technology using light (vs. radio waves), once supported on the Mac and most commonly used for television remote controls.
This term is used for both the Infrared Data Association and the infrared standard that it created.
Kilobits per second, or 1,024 bits per second?a way to measure bandwidth.
An Internet Service Provider, who provides access to the Internet.
Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol, a communication protocol similar to that of PPTP, except that it does not include encryption. Mac OS X Panther supports L2TP over IPSec for encrypted links to remote networks.
A Local Area Network, also described as a group of computers in one common location connected together. See also WAN.
The method by which Rendezvous automatically assigns IP addresses.
A computer's Ethernet hardware address.
One of several OS X applications that can be run to find any locally available wireless access points.
A component of a WDS that is connected to the Internet and shares its Internet connection with remote and relay base stations.
The hub of a Bluetooth piconet.
Megabits per second, or 1,048,576 bits per second?a way to measure bandwidth.
Multicast DNS-Service Discovery notifications are how Rendezvous devices broadcast what services they offer.
A lengthy and time-consuming way to enter letters into an SMS message. Use T9 instead if it's available.
Network Address Translation allows a network behind a router to appear to use a single IP address.
The first three parts of a dotted quad, which identify the network a computer is connected to.
Linux-based software for handling community networks.
The process of telling two Bluetooth-enabled devices that the other is to be remembered and trusted.
Personal Digital Cellular, an alternative cellular technology used in Japan.
An ad-hoc Bluetooth network, which can contain up to eight devices.
See TCP/IP port.
PPP Over Ethernet, an alternative method of connecting a cable or DSL modem that requires extra security information to be passed.
A communication protocol designed by Microsoft (and other companies) to create a secure tunnel between two computers. PPTP provides authentication and encryption services, and encapsulates PPP packets within IP packets.