WLAN at the RWTH Aachen
WLAN stands for Wireless Local Area Network and is also known as WiFi or Wi-Fi.
There are WLAN transmitters, these are the university's WLAN access points. There are the WLAN receivers, these are the WLAN capable devices of the users, e.g. smartphones, tablets and laptops. Both parties can send and receive data in order to communicate with each other. The access points (and the infrastructure behind them) offer the WLAN service while the end user devices, use the WLAN service.
The WLAN access points broadcast one or more SSIDs (Service Set IDentifier, technical jargon for "name of the data network"). The end-user devices may connect (or associate) with one or more of these SSIDs and get internet access. Connection is only possible if the corresponding user or device authorisation, depending on the SSID, is successful. Authorisation is negotiated between the WLAN infrastructure and the respective end-user device. The user needs to configure their device accordingly prior to connection.