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Infrastructure Mode Configuration
- Most commonly deployed.
- You hang an AP off of a wired switch. The AP then forms a radio cell extention of your wired network. The cell is called a “basic service set” or BSS.
- Coverage, typically 150 foot range, is dependent upon:
- Facility construction (In my experience, metal is a big bummer. Concrete and stone hurt. Sheetrock and 2x4s are no problem.)
- Antenna used
- Transmission power.
- The physical layer (The book doesn’t really explain how that’s different from facility construction.)
- All traffic flows from the client to the AP. If wireless clients are talking to one another, they do not talk directly in infrastructure mode. Rather, the traffic is relayed to the AP, and the AP rebroadcasts the traffic to the recipient.
- Wireless clients are able to roam between cells, automatically associating with various APs along the way, although only to one AP at a time. Applications can suffer while this happens, but depending on the application, the process can be seamless.
Ad Hoc Mode Configuration
- Clients communicate directly to one another, without the benefit of an access point.
- Allows for the spontaneous creation of a wireless network.
Ethan Banks writes & podcasts about IT, new media, and personal tech.
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