You bought a new mobile phone and tried to transfer contents from the old one using the transfer utility provided by the manufacturer. It transfers the contents via WIFI peer to peer without an access point. Which of the following is most likely used for wireless identification?
A. Automatic Private IP Addressing (APIPA)
B. Private IP addresses defined in RFC 1918
C. Media Access Control (MAC) Address
D. Manufacturing series number
Kindly be reminded that the suggested answer is for your reference only. It doesn’t matter whether you have the right or wrong answer. What really matters is your reasoning process and justifications.
My suggested answer is None or C. Media Access Control (MAC) Address.
The BSSID is like a MAC address or follows MAC address conventions. It’s common for manufactures to use the MAC address as BSSID in infrastructure mode, but it’s not mandatory; the BSSID can be a serial number.
The BSSID in ad hoc mode looks like a MAC address as well, but it is randomly generated. Technically speaking, the answer should be NONE. However, the question states, “most likely used” literally, so C. Media Access Control (MAC) Address is the best among the four options.
Wi-Fi networks can function either in infrastructure mode (access points required) or ad hoc mode (peer-to-peer).
- A group of wireless network devices (typically connected to an access point) shapes a basic service set (BSS), which can work in infrastructure mode or ad hoc mode (Independent Basic Service Set or IBSS).
- An extended service set (ESS) is composed of one or more BSSs so that wireless devices can roam across them with the support of Service Set ID (SSID), which is broadcasted by stations in beacon packets to announce the presence of a network.
Basic Service Set Identifiers (BSSID)
- Each basic service set has its own unique identifier, a BSSID, which is a unique 48-bit identifier that follows MAC address conventions.
- An infrastructure-BSSID is usually non-configurable, in which case it is either preset during manufacture or mathematically derived from a preset value such as a serial number, the MAC address of the LAN connection, etc.
- Like infrastructure-BSSs, independent-BSSs also have a 48-bit MAC address-like identifier. But unlike infrastructure-BSS identifiers, independent-BSSs identifiers are not necessarily unique: the individual/group bit of the address is always set to 0 (individual), the universal/local bit of the address is always set to 1 (local), and the remaining 46 bits are randomly generated.