Native 802.11 Operation Modes

Important The Native 802.11 Wireless LAN interface is deprecated in Windows 10 and later. Please use the WLAN Device Driver Interface (WDI) instead. For more information about WDI, see WLAN Universal Windows driver model.

A miniport driver can support any number of the Native 802.11 operation modes. The operating system queries the driver for the operation modes it supports through OID_DOT11_OPERATION_MODE_CAPABILITY. The operating system will never switch the NIC to an operation mode that the NIC does not support.

The operating system sets or queries the current operation mode on the miniport driver through OID_DOT11_CURRENT_OPERATION_MODE. When the NIC's 802.11 medium access controller (MAC) switches to a new operation mode, it must reload its factory default settings for the new operation mode.

In Windows Vista, a miniport driver can support only one 802.11 MAC. Beginning with Windows 7, if the miniport driver implements Virtual WiFi, it can support multiple 802.11 MACs. Each MAC can operate in a separate operation mode.

The following topics describe the Native 802.11 operation modes.

Extensible Access Point (ExtAP) Operation Mode

Extensible Station (ExtSTA) Operation Mode

Network Monitor (NetMon) Operation Mode

For information about the operating states for each of these operation modes, see Native 802.11 Operating States.