Wide Area Network (WLAN). A data communications network that spans large local, regional, national or international areas and is usually provided by a public carrier (such as a telephone company or service provider).The term is used to distinguish between phone-based data networks and Wi-Fi networks. Phone networks are considered WANs and Wi-Fi networks are considered Wireless Local Area Networks. (See LAN, WMAN, WPAN).
Wireless Applications Protocol. A protocol designed to deliver applications to mobile devices, including cell phones, pagers, two-way radios, smartphones and communicators.
The practice of indicating the presence of both secured and unsecured wireless networks by using chalk to mark nearby buildings or sidewalks.
The practice of driving around with a GPS, laptop equipped with WNIC and an antenna (usually built into the WNIC) to document the location of secured and unsecured WLANs. The locations of the WLANs derived from the GPS readings, and their corresponding SSIDs, are published in databases that live on the Internet. War driving derives its name from the movie, War Games, in which hackers gained access to traditional networks by randomly dialing telephone numbers until a modem answered. (See GPS).
The original security standard used in wireless networks to encrypt the wireless network traffic. (See WPA).
A certification program of the Wi-Fi Alliance® that allows licensed users to easily identify public hotspot locations that have Wi-Fi connectivity available using Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ products.
Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access. Refers to the 802.16 standard being developed by the IEEE to provide a wireless coverage of up to 31 miles. It operates in the 2 to 11 GHz bands and enables connectivity without a direct line-of-sight to a base station although line-of-site is probably required to achieve connectivity at the distance of 31 miles.. It provides shared data rates up to 70 Mbps, which, according to WiMAX proponents, is enough bandwidth to simultaneously support more than 60 businesses and hundreds of homes. (See WMAN).
Devices connected to a network using a centralized wireless access point. (See WLAN).
Wireless Local Area Network. A type of local-area network in which data is sent and received via high-frequency radio waves rather than cables or wires. (See LAN, wireless network).
Wireless Metropolitan Area Network-A wireless data network that is comparable to a cell phone network in that users throughout a metropolitan area can freely access the Internet. WiMAX technology provides the basis of WMAN networks. (See WiMAX).
Wi-Fi Multimedia. A group of features for wireless networks that improve the user experience for audio, video and voice applications. WMM is based on a subset of the IEEE 802.11e WLAN QoS draft standard. WMM adds prioritized capabilities to Wi-Fi networks and optimizes their performance when multiple concurring applications, each with different latency and throughput requirements, compete for network resources. By using WMM, end-user satisfaction is maintained in a wider variety of environments and traffic conditions. WMM makes it possible for home network users and enterprise network managers to decide which data streams are most important and assign them a higher traffic priority. (See 802.11e, QoS).
WMM™ Power Save
WMM Power Save is a set of features for Wi-Fi networks that increase the efficiency and flexibility of data transmission in order to conserve power. WMM Power Save has been optimized for mobile devices running latency-sensitive applications such as voice, audio, or video, but can benefit any Wi-Fi device. WMM Power Save uses mechanisms included in the IEEE 802.11e standard and is an enhancement of IEEE 802.11 legacy power save. With WMM Power Save, the same amount of data can be transmitted in a shorter time while allowing the Wi-Fi device to remain longer in a low-power dozing state.
WPA™ - Enterprise
Wi-Fi Protected Access-Enterprise. A wireless security method that provides strong data protection for multiple users and large managed networks. It uses the 802.1X authentication framework with TKIP encryption and prevents unauthorized network access by verifying network users through an authentication server. (See 802.1X, TKIP, WPA).
WPA™ - Personal
Wi-Fi Protected Access-Personal. A wireless security method that provides strong data protection and prevents unauthorized network access for small networks. It uses TKIP encryption and protects against unauthorized network access through the use of a pre-shared key (PSK). (See WPA, PSK).
Wi-Fi Protected Access. An improved security standard for wireless networks that provides strong data protection and network access control. WPA was developed by the Wi-Fi Alliance and addresses all known WEP vulnerabilities. It provides strong data protection by using encryption, as well as strong access controls and 802.1X-based user authentication which was largely missing in WEP. WPA is designed to secure all versions of 802.11 devices, including 802.11b, 802.11a, and 802.11g, dual-band and tri-mode. WPA can be enabled in two versions, WPA-Personal and WPA-Enterprise. WPA-Personal protects against unauthorized network access by utilizing a set-up pass phrase, or pre-shared key. WPA-Enterprise verifies network users through an authentication server. In either mode, WPA utilizes 128-bit encryption keys and dynamic session keys to ensure the wireless network's privacy and security. (See PSK, WEP, WPA2).
WPA2™ - Enterprise
Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 - Enterprise. The follow on wireless security method to WPA that provides stronger data protection for multiple users and large managed networks. It prevents unauthorized network access by verifying network users through an authentication server. (See WPA2).
WPA2™ - Personal
Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 - Personal. The follow on wireless security method to WPA that provides stronger data protection and prevents unauthorized network access for small networks. (See WPA2, PSK).
Wi-Fi Protected Access 2. The follow on security method to WPA for wireless networks that provides stronger data protection and network access control. It provides enterprise and consumer Wi-Fi users with a high level of assurance that only authorized users can access their wireless networks. Based on the ratified IEEE 802.11i standard, WPA2 provides government grade security by implementing the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) FIPS 140-2 compliant AES encryption algorithm and 802.1X-based authentication. There are two versions of WPA2: WPA2-Personal, and WPA2-Enterprise. WPA2-Personal protects unauthorized network access by utilizing a set-up password. WPA2-Enterprise verifies network users through a server. WPA2 is backward compatible with WPA. Like WPA, WPA2 uses the 802.1X/EAP framework as part of the infrastructure that ensures centralized mutual authentication and dynamic key management and offers a pre-shared key for use in home and small office environments. Like WPA, WPA2 is designed to secure all versions of 802.11 devices, including 802.11b, 802.11a, and 802.11g, multi-band and multi-mode. (See WPA2-Enterprise, WPA2-Personal).
Wireless Personal Area Network. A network that wirelessly connects personal devices centered within a radius of about 30 feet such as an individual's workspace or room environment in a home. WPAN technologies include Bluetooth and others defined by the IEEE 802.15 standard. Devices specifications include low data rates (250 kbps, 40 kbps, and 20 kbps), and multi-month to multi-year battery life and include such things as joy sticks and interactive toys. WPAN devices operate in unlicensed international frequency bands and can communicate directly with one another, a concept called plugging in. (See Bluetooth wireless technology).
Wi-Fi Protected Setup
Wi-Fi Protected Setup™ (previously called Wi-Fi Simple Config) is an optional certification program developed by the Wi-Fi Alliance designed to ease set up of security-enabled Wi-Fi networks in the home and small office environment. Wi-Fi Protected Setup supports methods (pushing a button or entering a PIN into a wizard-type application) that are familiar to most consumers to configure a network and enable security.
Wi-Fi/mobile convergence. The convergence of conventional cellular technology and Wi-Fi technology. Converged phones can switch between conventional cellular and Wi-Fi voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) modes, even during the course of a conversation, to allow uninterrupted calls when moving between outdoor and indoor environments. (See cellular convergence.)