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We propose an approximate model for a nonsaturated IEEE 802.11 DCF network that is simpler than others that have appeared in the literature. Our key simplification is that the attempt rate in the nonsaturated setting can be approximated by scaling the attempt rate of the saturated setting with an appropriate factor. Use of different scaling factors leads to variants of the model for a small buffer and an infinite buffer. We develop a general fixed-point analysis that we demonstrate can have nonunique solutions for the infinite buffer model variant under moderate traffic. Nevertheless, in an asymptotic regime that applies to light traffic, we are able to prove uniqueness of the fixed point and predict the offered load at which the maximum throughput is achieved. We verify our model using ns-2 simulation and show that our MAC access delay results are the most accurate among related work, while our collision probability and throughput results achieve comparable accuracy to (D. Malone et al., 2007), (K. Duffy et al., 2007).