How do Wi-Fi networks work?

This is a collection of concept maps that summarizes the internals of 802.11 networks. Concept maps are diagrams that can be used to capture, organize, and represent knowledge. They include concepts, usually represented as circles or boxes, and annotated lines that connect and specify the relationship between them, and are a great tool for expressing and summarizing complex topics.


1. What's the IEEE 802.11 Standard?

This concept map gives an overview of the IEEE 802.11 standard which dictates how Wi-Fi works at the physical and MAC (Medium Access Layer) layers.

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2. What's the 802.11 Physical Layer?

This concept map describes the basics of the different 802.11 network modes (802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11n, etc.), including the PLCP header format and modulation types.

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3. What's the 802.11 MAC Sublayer?

This concept map presents the basics of the 802.11 MPDU format, including types of frames, MAC addressing, frame fragmentation, and QoS capabilities.

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4. What's an 802.11 Management Frame?

This concept map describes the different types and structure of 802.11 management frames. Management frames are mainly used in Wi-Fi networks to assist in the discovery and association (i.e. joining) of a wireless network.

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5. What's an 802.11 Control Frame?

This concept map describes the 802.11 control frames. Control frames help with the delivery of management and data frames. They do not have a body (only a Layer 2 header and a trailer) and can be transmitted at different data rates depending on their particular function.

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6. What's an 802.11 Data Frame?

This concept map presents the basics of the 802.11 data frame. Data frames are used to carry application data.

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7. What's 802.11 Power Management?

This concept map gives you an introduction to 802.11 power management: what 802.11 devices do to conserve energy.

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8. What's 802.11 Security?

This concept map summarizes the basics of the different 802.11 encryption and authentication methods.

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The concept maps in this website were created with CmapTools.