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In the context below:

Any of the varieties of IEEE 802.11 wireless network begins with an access point, or AP, a network node connected directly to a wired local area network or to the Internet. The other wireless nodes, called stations, each have a transmitter/receiver working in a matching bandwidth.

When a notebook, for example, connects to the network, it broadcasts a probe request identifying itself and asking if any other 802.11 devices are within range.

If an access point within that range picks up the probe request, the AP broadcasts an acknowledgment, and the two go through whatever security or payment arrangements the network has set up. They also establish any settings needed so the notebook can talk with the rest of the network.

Who are the TWO? The AP and the probe request?

Thank you in advance.

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"The two" here refers to the notebook and the other WiFi (802.11) device from "if any other 802.11 devices are within range". This means the AP (access point) will acknowledge the connection request between the notebook and the other WiFi devices the notebook is trying to connect to

  • Agree, but it should be pointed out that the fault lies with the original writer, not the reader. The reference to “the notebook” is too far back in a previous paragraph. This is akin to a dangling modifier: the reference of “the two” should be to the most recent two things (the AP and the probe request), but the author meant the AP and the notebook computer (“client”). – whiskeychief Aug 30 at 1:28

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