Client Software and Adapter
Any client computer, laptop or wireless device with a compatible wireless client adapter allows connectivity with an access point. The client adapter is a radio transmitter with firmware that supports any of 802.11a/b/g signaling. That is needed before the device can associate and authenticate with the access point. Some access points have a no client mode that doesn’t allow any association from clients extending network distance. Client wireless software included with the adapter must be implemented with specific Windows platforms. The client adapter will be integrated with the laptop, PCMCIA slot or desktop PCI bus slot. They will support specific wireless standards, antenna characteristics, WiFi certification, WDS, network range and security. The wireless manufacturer software must be implemented for all available features. The following is a list of some client adapter configured settings.
Access Point (AP)
As the name suggests an AP (access point) allows connectivity between the wireless client or wireless device and the wired network. The AP takes wireless data packets from a client and translates them to standard Ethernet data frames before transmitting across the wired network. Standard category 5 twisted pair cabling will connect the AP point Ethernet port with a catalyst switch Ethernet port. The maximum distance between access point and network switch is 100 meters standard with Ethernet design.
Wireless designs with hundreds of root APs on an enterprise network will sometimes deploy wireless LAN controllers. The design specifies lightweight APs connecting to a network switch. The 4404 WLAN controller device acts as a hub connecting 4 network switches supporting 100 access points. Cisco wireless control system (WCS) wireless network management software is sometimes deployed with WLAN controller design for planning, configuring and optimizing the network. Continue Reading