A WLAN provides wireless connectivity over short to long distances with radio waves rather than traditional electrical network cabling. A WLAN extends already existing wired local area networks (LAN) to computers not attached to the LAN directly. The term ‘wireless’ denotes that the system does not require any wires connecting the computers or devices to the network. It uses radio signals for this purpose.
There are four main types of wireless local area networks: single-mode, multimode, bridged, and a packet switch. Each has its pros and cons and can be used for various applications. In single-mode networks, the primary (and least important) mode of connectivity is fixed and the secondary mode covers either one or two modes. Bridged and packet switch networks combine the features of both single and dual-mode networks. The fourth network type offers faster connectivity and provides more efficient power consumption.
An example of a single-mode network involves a laptop computer or a computer in its mobility mode being able to connect to other computers in its home network. Such a situation can be achieved by a wired connection between the laptop and other wireless devices within the home. These devices can be laptops, notebook PCs, cell phones, wireless internet access points (wifi ids), cordless phones, and other wireless local area network devices. Such a scenario would allow the laptop to stay connected to other wireless devices in its home network even when the laptop is moved between locations.
On the other hand, in a multimode arrangement, there are two or more computers that can be securely connected. The most commonly used example is a two-way wireless connection between the laptop and one or more desktops in a home or an office. In this case, the desktop acts as a primary gateway and the laptop is connected via a secondary wireless local area network. This type of configuration is used for computers that are not in the same room but want to remain connected. In addition, a wireless LAN has also been deployed for connecting several laptops at the same time.
Another important example of a multilayer configuration is the so-called WAN plus MSA hybrid configuration. This configuration uses a middle layer service over security hardware such as a firewall and WPA firewall. The advantage of this configuration is that it allows for authentication of the transmitted data, and it does not hinder the data being sent or received by any of the receiving devices. One thing to note is that in this case, the term ‘WAN’ refers to the set of network protocols and equipment and ‘SAM’ refers to ‘Watson’ the software implemented on top of these network protocols.
Another important characteristic of any good WLAN setup is the use of proper encryption protocols to prevent unauthorized access. This protection is necessary to prevent hacking and tampering to protect sensitive information and the transfer of data from one computer to another. A good piece of advice is to buy low-quality W LAN cables and hardware and connect devices using cheap or free software to ensure optimum connectivity.