In simple terms, you plug a wireless access point into an Ethernet connector in your wired network, and then the access point acts as an unwired gateway into that network. Client devices, such as notebook and handheld computers, rely on wireless access cards or built-in wireless capabilities to connect with the wireless access points (APs) and then continue on through to the network and your information resources. All of the wireless devices have unique MAC addresses, so they can be identified on the wired and wireless networks.
Go on to part 3: Wireless frequencies
This was first published in March 2004