or Inter-Access Point Protocol is a recommendation that describes an optional extension to IEEE 802.11
that provides wireless access-point
communications among multivendor systems . 802.11
is a set of IEEE
standards that govern wireless networking transmission methods. They are commonly used today in their 802.11a
versions to provide wireless connectivity in the home, office and some commercial establishments.
The IEEE 802.11 standard doesn't specify the communications between access points in order to support users roaming from one access point to another and load balancing. The 802.11 WG purposely didn't define this element in order to provide flexibility in working with different wired and wireless distribution systems (i.e., wired backbones that interconnect access points).
The protocol is designed for the enforcement of unique association throughout an Extended Service Set
and for secure exchange of station's security context between the current AP
and the new AP
during the handoff period. Based on security level, communication session keys between APs
are distributed by a RADIUS
server. The RADIUS
server also provides a mapping service between AP's
MAC address and IP address.
The 802.11F Recommendation has been ratified and published in 2003
IEEE 802.11F was a Trial Use Recommended Practice. The IEEE 802
Executive Committee approved its withdrawal on February 03, 2006 .