How Wi-Fi Works?

The typical Wi-Fi setup contains one or more Access Points (APs) and one or more clients. An AP broadcasts its SSID (Service Set Identifier, Network name) via packets that are called beacons, which are broadcasted every 100 ms. The beacons are transmitted at 1 Mbit/s, and are relatively short and therefore are not of influence on performance.

Since 1 Mbit/s is the lowest rate of Wi-Fi it assures that the client who receives the beacon can communicate at at least 1 Mbit/s. Based on the settings (e.g. the SSID), the client may decide whether to connect to an AP. Also the firmware running on the client Wi-Fi card is of influence. Say two APs of the same SSID are in range of the client, the firmware may decide based on signal strength to which of the two APs it will connect. The Wi-Fi standard leaves connection criteria and roaming totally open to the client.

WiFi Logo

WiFi Logo

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