Could any tell me how does an access point(without NAT tables) know the clients in vicinity? I am not asking in terms of radio signal reception but what I want to know is, does the AP maintain a table/list structure with the SSID of clients or its MAC address or its IP address? If yes where does it keep it?(in the sense, in which file system of its OS?)
Also, a wireless router operates at netwok layer level maintaing NAT tables and inspecting packets at that level and routing IP packets. I assume in both wireless router case and AP#s case they must do the client detection at the physical layer level.
How does this detection recored before sending the packets higher up the stack in case of wireless router?
I assume in case of AP, it just detects clients and routes the WLAN packet directly to client. Is this true?
It is important for me to know this as we want to tweak the AP/wireless router for some security needs.