Hallnet Terminology

Access Point  / Wireless Access Point (AP / WAP)

Is a device that connects wireless communication devices together to form a wireless network. The WAP usually connects to a wired network, and can relay data between wireless devices and wired devices. Several WAPs can link together to form a larger network that allows "roaming". (In contrast, a network where the client devices manage themselves - without the need for any access points - becomes an ad-hoc network. See peer-to-peer also.)

Band

The range of frequencies in which signals are transmitted.

Bandwidth

The difference between the highest and lowest frequencies used for a communication channel. Generally, more bandwidth means greater transmission capacity.

Bridge

An internetworking device that connects two similar networks

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)

Is a set of rules used by a communications device (such as a computer, router or networking adapter) to allow the device to request and obtain an Internet address from a server which has a list of addresses available for assignment.

Ethernet

Is a large and diverse family of frame-based computer networking technologies for local area networks (LANs). The name comes from the physical concept of the ether. It defines a number of wiring and signaling standards for the physical layer, two means of network access at the Media Access Control (MAC)/Data Link Layer, and a common addressing format.

Internet 

Is the worldwide, publicly accessible network of interconnected computer networks that transmit data by packet switching using the standard Internet Protocol (IP). It is a "network of networks" that consists of millions of smaller domestic, academic, business, and government networks, which together carry various information and services, such as electronic mail, online chat, file transfer, and the interlinked Web pages and other documents of the World Wide Web.

IP address (Internet Protocol Address)

Is a unique address that devices use in order to identify and communicate with each other on a computer network utilizing the Internet Protocol standard (IP). In simpler terms, a computer address.

Link or Data Link

Is the means of connecting one location to another for the purpose of transmitting and receiving data.

Local Area Network (LAN)

Local Area Networks or LANs are a network of computers that span a relatively small space. Most LANs are in an office or home, connecting a series of PCs together. Each computer on the network is called a node, has its own hardware and runs its own programs like any normal PC, but they can also access any other data or devices connected to the LAN. Printers, modems and other devices can also be separate nodes on a LAN. A network that is limited to a small geographic area.

Media-Access Control (MAC)

Portion of the Data Link layer that controls access to the communication channel. The address of the Network Interface Card.

Network card / Network Adapter / NIC (Network Interface Card)

Is a piece of computer hardware designed to allow computers to communicate over a computer network.

Peer-to-peer

Communication between two network devices that have the same status on the network

Protocol

A code or set of rules by which communication is initiated, maintained, and terminated.

Radio

The device that transmits and receives wireless signals.

Router

Forwards data packets across a network toward their destinations, through a process known as routing.

Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)

This was originally developed by the Defense Department of the US to allow dissimilar computers to talk. Today, as many of us know, this protocol is used as the basis for the Internet. Because it must span such large distances and cross multiple, smaller networks, TCP/IP is a routable protocol, meaning it can send data through a router on its way to its destination. In the long run, this slows things down a little, but this ability makes it very flexible for large networks.

Wide Area Network (WAN)

Wide Area Network or WAN is a network that spans a larger area. It consists of two or more LANs connected to each other via telephone lines or some other means of connection.

Wireless LAN or WLAN

Is a wireless local area network, which is the linking of two or more computers without using wires