We throw around a lot of words we assume folks know but get a lot of puzzled looks and head nods. So we thought we’d list a bunch of those terms and define them. That way, we’re all working on the same page. Here they are – just click on the term and go to it’s definition:

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[toggle title=”Antenna” open=”no”]A device that is the ear of the radio. This is often built in to a radio or is external. They vary in size and strength. Antennas are specific to a particular frequency and may be changeable. The most common representation for a wireless antenna is the classic “Rubbber Duckie” antenna that is found on most home wireless routers[/toggle]

[toggle title=”AP(Access Point)” open=”no”]This is what your radio connects to. This piece of equipment broadcasts the wireless signal to be picked up by the radios on the home. It is responsible for allowing multiple people to connect to a shared internet connection. [/toggle]

[toggle title=”Broadband” open=”no”]A blanket term for High Speed internet. This can be wireless, DSL, Cable, Satilite, Fiber optic cable, or Cellular. It has many forms and many different speeds depending on their own standards and carriers. [/toggle]

[toggle title=”Cat5 Cable” open=”no”]A 4-pair wire that runs from the radio to the router, and from the router to any wired computers. This is the standard network cable. [/toggle]

[toggle title=”Email Client” open=”no”]Software that sends and receives email. There are many email clients out there, but the most common are Outlook, Outlook Express, Thunderbird, Eudora. [/toggle]

[toggle title=”Interference” icon=””]This is when other wireless signals are either too close in frequency, or are overlapping. Unlicensed frequencies are subject to a lot of interference. This is due to the multitude of other wireless devices that can be found in a home. Examples of this would be cordless phones, routers, microwaves, some florescent lights, wireless headphones and the like can all run on 2.4Ghz. This can cause interference with other like devices that operate in that same spectrum. [/toggle]

[toggle title=”Power-cycle” open=”no”]A fancy term for powering your equipment off and turning it back on again. This is often done by unplugging the power from the Power injector for your radio. [/toggle]

[toggle title=”Power Injector” open=”no”]This is a small passive device that “injects” power onto a Cat5 cable. This is how the device that is outside (radio) is powered. [/toggle]

[toggle title=”Radio” open=”no”]The piece of equipment that transmits and receives the wireless signal. This is the equipment on the outside of the house. [/toggle]

[toggle title=”Router” open=”no”]This is the box that decides what goes in and what comes out of your personal network. Some of these provide wireless inside the home for laptops and such. [/toggle]

[toggle title=”SSID” open=”no”]SSID is short for service set identifier.
SSID is a case sensitive, 32 alphanumeric character unique identifier attached to the header of packets sent over a wireless local-area network (WLAN) that acts as a password when a mobile device tries to connect to the basic service set (BSS) — a component of the IEEE 802.11 WLAN architecture. [/toggle]

[toggle title=”WEP/WPA/WPA2″ icon=””]All of these are various wireless security protocols. The most common is WEP. This is supported by most wireless cards. Others, such as WPA and WPA2 are more secure, but can be trickier in their setup and are not always supported by all wireless cards. [/toggle]

[toggle title=”Wireless 802.11 a/b/g/n” open=”no”]These are the various wireless standards. They operate at different frequencies or speeds depending on the standard. 802.11B and 802.11G are the two main standards that most wireless home networks operate on. 802.11N is the newest and is the speediest. [/toggle]