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Wireless networks have become more and more popular in business and industrial environments, in the home and in hotspots in public places such as airports and hotels. We can classify wireless networks in a variety of ways. In this chapter, we classify them as follows: personal area networks (PANs), home area networks (HANs), wireless LANs (WLANs), cellular radio networks (for mobile phones) and wireless technologies for replacing the wired analogue local loop. We start with a mention of some technical aspects of transmission. The chapter finishes with short discussions of mobile ad hoc networks, radio frequency identification (RFID), near field communication and the global positioning system.
Certain aspects of WLANs were covered in previous chapters, and the reader is encouraged to refer back to these. Infrared and microwave transmission (including satellites) were mentioned in Sect. 2.10.3. The WLAN access point and radio (the wireless NIC) were described in Sect. 4.1.3. The particular security problems posed by WLANs were covered in Sect. 8.16.
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