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What A Wireless LAN Does

Some Important Differences between Wired LANS and Wireless LANS
  • While Wireless LANs use the same networking protocols as Wired LANS, they use specialized physical and datalink protocols.
  • Wireless LANS integrate into existing networks through access points, which provide a bridging function.
  • Wireless LANS let you stay connected as you "roam" from one coverage area to another.
  • Wireless LANs have unique security considerations, including encryption.
  • Wireless LANS have specific interoperability/compatibility requirements.
  • Wireless LANs require different hardware than Wired LANS.
  • Wireless LANs offer unique performance factors that differ from Wired LANs.
What a Wireless LAN Does
A Wireless LAN allows workers more productivity, mobility, flexibility and internal/external links to work and home environments. Things advantages have never possible before today's new technology.

Selecting a Wireless LAN
Before purchasing wireless LAN equipment, ensure that the Wireless LAN can configure with your particular setup. Wireless connects through your PC and personal wireless LAN card fast and easily.

The performance of different Wireless LANs may vary widely, depending on many factors. The throughput of two Wireless LANs advertising the same bit rate may vary. Therefore, if you intend to cover a large geographical range, test as many physical locations and combinations of your home, office or area for range.

Most Wireless LANs are designed to work well in many configurations, but some Wireless LANs, or some environments, may need to be carefully checked for wireless configuration. Determine the limitations of your hardware. For best results, use a high rate wireless LAN solution with connections of up to 11 Mbit/s. This solution allows mobile operators, network operators and ISPs to offer tailored and location-based wireless LAN services in enabled access areas including areas such as airports, hotels, business campuses, and convention centers.

Things to Consider when Deciding on a Wireless LAN
Wireless LANs exhibit somewhat lower performance levels than 10BaseT Ethernet products. Although prices are continuously dropping, wireless components may come at a premium for some users. Another issue is that interference from other radio sources and even nearby LANs can become a problem and may lead to lower data speeds or service disruption.

Almost any application that works over a wired LAN should work over a wireless LAN. The only thing you may want to do differently is to consider the size of applications and the speed of the network. If a user is operating on a 1-Mbps network and is loading a 5-Mbyte application from a file server, the application could take over a minute to load. It is usually better for users to have copies of frequently used applications, utilities and data files on their own hard drives rather than on file servers.

In many wireless LAN applications, users should be able maintain a continuous connection as they roam from one physical area to another. They must be able to move from the coverage of one access point to another. Nearly all wireless LAN vendors support this kind of roaming through a process by which the mobile nodes automatically register with the new access point. Consider into the equation for your network planning how your infrastructure network is divided into subnets. If one access point is on one subnet and another access point is on another subnet, traffic will have to cross a router, something that most wireless LAN vendors currently do not support. The two possible solutions are to this scenario are:
  • Connect all access points back to one subnet, which might require extra cabling.
  • Use Mobile IP if your network protocol is IP.

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