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This letter presents a new method for analyzing nonsaturated IEEE 802.11 DCF networks: the behavior of each station in a WLAN is modeled as a Markov renewal process, and the throughput expression is derived from the traffic conservation principle for queueing systems in equilibrium. The Markov renewal process model simplifies the derivation of the closed form solution for the probability that each station attempts to transmit in a slot. The throughput expression shows a relatively explicit relation between the throughput and the offered load. The accuracy of the method is verified by ns-2 simulation.