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Wireless Networks are the most popular networks now a days due to their less cost and easy deployment anywhere. The carrier sense multiple access with collision avoidance (CSMA/CA) protocol is a random access protocol that is used to avoid collisions in wireless local area networks (WLANs). In this paper, a detailed performance evaluation of IEEE 802.11 medium access control (MAC) protocol is presented. A comprehensive performance of CSMA/CA protocol is analyzed by using optimized network engineering tool (OpNET) with different sets of WLAN parameters. Simulation results have been obtained in different network scenarios by varying the number of stations in the network. The performance of the protocol is carried out by processing of fragmented and no fragmented data, with and without handshaking mechanism and varying the channel capacity at physical layer. Performance of the protocol is analyzed in both the Ad hoc and Infrastructure network as well.