Sample Essay

Typically, computers on a wireless LAN have a radio modem, MAC (Media Access Controller) controller, a host interface and the driver. The radio modem transmits data onto and receives data from the frequency band. The MAC controller mainly controls the data packet format, channel access mechanism etc. The driver is actually software that acts as an interpreter between the operating system and the hardware. Each device over the WLAN shares an allotted finite radio frequency spectrum with all other wireless devices within the same network.  In order to avoid collision of data packets over this shared spectrum, one wireless device sends out a broadcast indicating that it is going to transmit data. This is received by other devices causing them to hold their transmissions off.

Standards are developed so that different vendors can create products that are capable of working seamlessly with other vendors’ products. The first WLAN standard was 802.11 developed in 1997.  It outlines how wireless clients and APs communicate, lays out interface specifications, “dictates how signal transfer should take place and describes how authentication, association and security should be implemented.” (Harris, n.d.)

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