Glossary of terms

802.11

A widely followed family of standards for wireless networking created by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). 802.11b and 802.11g are two of the several specifications of this wireless local area network technology.

802.1x

An authentication standard for wired and wireless networks used to identify users prior to access to network. This standard requires users to identify themselves with a username and password, which is sent through the Google WiFi node for authentication.

A

Association

Process of connecting your device to a specific wireless network through the SSID network name.

Authentication

Process of identifying a user to confirm that they are the actual user they claim to be. For authentication on the Google WiFi network, you must log in with a valid username and password, obtained through a free Google account.

Click this link to create your free Google account.

C

Connection Manager

A system utility that allows users to create various wireless connection profiles and quickly switch between them. This tool can be used to find and configure the parameters (SSID, security settings, and so on) that identify the wireless local area networks (WLANs).

Customer Premises Equipment (CPE)

Any piece of equipment in a Google customer's home that interacts with Google WiFi, such as a WiFi modem or computer.

D

DHCP

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. A protocol used by network devices, usually during their boot-up phase, in order to obtain an Internet Protocol (IP) address.

E

Encryption

The process of transforming a given set of data (often of a sensitive nature, such as passwords and credit card numbers) into something that is not human-readable. Usually this "garbled" data is transmitted across a network. Decryption is the process of transforming the encrypted data back to its original state.

F

Firewall

Hardware or software used to protect unauthorized access to a private network. Any information that passes through the firewall must pass through a security standard.

G

Google WiFi Node

Refers to the many wireless access points that we have hung around the city on light posts and rooftops. Each node has two antennas and serves as a radio, communicating with WiFi-enabled devices. The Google WiFi node, using mesh technology, then routes your signal back to the Internet.

H

Hotspot

An area serviced by an access point (Google WiFi node) that allows WiFi clients to connect to a network.

S

SSID

Service Set IDentifier. An SSID is a network identifier, or name, of a wireless network. It consists of a sequence of up to 32 numbers and letters. The SSID is usually broadcast as part of a beacon from an access point (Google WiFi node) and identifies which wireless networks are available.

The SSID for the Google WiFi network is GoogleWiFi and is case-sensitive.

W

WEP

An encryption protocol designed as part of some of the first wireless networks. Subsequent analysis has shown that it provides only a minimal level of security.

WiFi

Wireless Fidelity. Allows for network connectivity through radio signals in the home or office without the need for wires.

WPA

WiFi Protection Access. A second-generation wireless security and authentication protocol designed to overcome some of the known limitations of WEP.