Tue, 26 Sep 2023

What does a WLAN mean?

17 May 2023, 17:24 GMT+10

At a house, school, computer lab, campus, or office building, for example, two or more devices can connect to a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN), a type of wireless network that enables wireless communication between them. WLANs use Wi-Fi technology to provide wireless communication between devices, in contrast to a standard wired LAN, which connects devices using Ethernet connections. This makes WLANs extremely versatile and practical because devices can be mobile and yet connect to the network.

WLANs transfer data using high-frequency radio waves and frequently have an Internet access point built in. Devices on the network can access online resources thanks to this access point, which links the WLAN to the Internet. WLANs can offer Internet connectivity by radio, infrared, and microwave transmission, enabling data to be sent from one place to another without the need for cables or other physical connections to connect to the computer.

Nodes and access points are included in a wireless LAN's parts list. An access point is a device that enables wireless devices to connect to the network, whereas a node is a computer or other device that is connected to the network. Access points are frequently used to increase the WLAN's coverage area, enabling devices to connect from farther away or in spots with poor signal strength.

WLANs have grown in popularity over the past several years as a result of their comfort and adaptability. They are frequently used in public spaces like cafes, airports, and libraries as well as in homes, schools, and companies. By enabling wireless access to the Internet and other network resources, WLANs have improved how people work and interact. WLANs are going to become much more prevalent and crucial in our daily lives as technology advances.

How does WLAN work?

Let's have a look at how WLAN works.

Without the need for cables or other connections to connect directly to your computer, WLANs offer Internet access by employing radio, infrared, and microwave transmission to transport data from one area to another. Nodes and access points are the parts of a wireless LAN. A computer or peripheral device with a network interface and, in the case of WLANs, an antenna is referred to as a node. Between nodes or between nodes and another network, access points act as transmitters and receivers. One of the following technologies implements WLAN data transmission:

  • Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS): Using a narrowband carrier whose frequency changes according to a pattern that is recognized by both the transmitter and the receiver, frequency hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) transmits data. If the synchronization is done correctly, a single logical channel is maintained. Unintentional receivers experience FHSS as short-duration impulse noise.
  • Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS): For each bit broadcast, Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) creates a redundant bit pattern. A chip is the name for this arrangement of bits (or chipping code). The likelihood of recovering the original data increases with chip length (and the greater the bandwidth requirement). Statistical approaches can retrieve the original data without retransmitting it even if one or more device bits become distorted during transmission. Because DSSS appears to unintentional receivers as low-power wideband noise, the majority of narrowband receivers ignore it.
  • Infrared Technology: Using frequencies on the electromagnetic spectrum just below visible light, infrared technology. Infrared cannot penetrate through opaque things, like visible light, thus it is either directed (line-of-sight) or diffuse. Low-cost directed systems are inexpensive, have a range of only 3 feet, and are infrequently employed in particular WLAN applications. Since mobile users cannot benefit from high-performance directed IR, it is only utilized to build fixed subnetworks. Although cells in diffuse (or reflected) IR WLAN systems are limited to single rooms, they do not need a straight line of sight.

What are some key considerations when setting up a WLAN?

There are various important factors to consider when setting up a WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network). You should consider the following factors during WLAN deployment:

  • Coverage: It's critical to identify the WLAN's coverage area and confirm that it will provide adequate coverage for all relevant places inside that area.
  • Capacity: To make sure that the network has the capacity to manage the anticipated traffic, it is important to take into account the number of users and devices that will be connected to the WLAN.
  • Users and devices: It's important to take into account the different kinds of users and gadgets that will be using the WLAN. Network performance and security needs vary depending on the types of devices and applications.
  • Interference: The performance of the WLAN might be impacted by interference from other wireless networks or gadgets. Selecting the appropriate frequency range and channel can lessen this problem.
  • Power: Power requirements should be considered while planning because access points and other devices linked to the WLAN will need to be powered.
  • Security: Because WLANs are open to assaults and illegal access, it's crucial to take the right security precautions.
  • RF propagation and antenna systems: The WLAN's performance and coverage may be impacted by the design of the coverage area and the type of antenna being utilized. When planning, it's crucial to keep these things in mind.

What are the benefits of using WLAN?

Several firms find WLANs to be an appealing option because of their many advantages. One of WLANs' key benefits is that they are wireless, therefore there is no need for cords or jacks. As a result, installing a WLAN is typically less expensive than installing a wired network because it doesn't need as much wiring or other hardware.

The mobility and flexibility of WLANs is an additional advantage. Users of WLANs are able to travel across the coverage area while still remaining connected to the network. This increases productivity and efficiency because employees can work from various locations within the workplace or even from faraway areas.

WLANs are more affordable and equipment-light than conventional networks. Due to the reduction in installation and maintenance expenses, WLANs are now a viable choice for enterprises of all sizes.

WLANs have the advantage of scalability. To accommodate changes in the number of workstations or devices on the network, WLANs are easily expandable or retractable. Because of this, it is simple for firms to grow at their own speed and adjust to changing customer needs.

WLANs handle a wide range of devices, including laptops, phones, tablets, game consoles, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. WLANs are incredibly flexible. This eliminates the need for several networks and allows organizations to connect all of their devices to a single network, simplifying network management.

Is it possible to implement a WLAN without sacrificing network security?

Yes, it is possible to implement a WLAN without sacrificing network security. Implementing WLAN security measures is complex, but there are several best practices that can be followed to ensure network security. WLAN implementation best practices include using strong passwords, implementing encryption, securing access points, and using firewalls and intrusion detection systems. It is important to keep software and firmware up to date and to regularly monitor the network for any suspicious activity. By following these best practices, it is possible to implement a secure WLAN that protects against common WLAN threats and ensures the safety of corporate data

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