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The paper generally relates to the field of wireless local area networks (WLANs), and, more particularly, to AP selection and association methods for the performance of a station. IEEE 802.11 WLAN is widely deployed and used as an emerging service to connect to the high-speed Internet in the public wireless environment. However, if there are many users in a hot spot area, they suffer a severe decrease of performance. Thus it needs an association and access control mechanism, especially when it is used in the public environment. We suggest an efficient association method using beacon or probe response frames based IEEE 802.11 and analyze the performance of stations. A station selects an AP using the information of the capability region in a beacon or a probe response frame. An association method for a public WLAN service, which includes a WLAN user terminal and an AP for relaying WLAN communications to and from the user terminal, includes the steps of the user terminal asking the AP's states to access with a radio channel; the station then selects and associates with the AP. Further, it is possible to improve the efficiency of network management.