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Wireless local area network

Wireless local area network definition

WPAN is a wireless local area network (WLAN) refers to a network that allows devices to connect and communicate wirelessly within a limited area, such as a home, school, or office building, using radio waves. It provides the functionalities of a traditional wired local area network without the need for physical cables. The most common technology standard for WLANs is Wi-Fi.

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Wireless local area network types

  • Independent basic service set (IBSS). It’s the simplest type of WLAN configuration, where two or more devices connect directly without a central wireless access point or router. It's typically temporary and established for a specific task, like file sharing.
  • Basic service set (BSS). It consists of a single access point (AP) and the client devices (like laptops or smartphones) associated with it. The is connected to the wired network and acts as a bridge between the wired and wireless networks.
  • Extended service set (ESS). An ESS is a larger WLAN configuration made up of multiple overlapping BSSs, each containing its own AP and connected to the same wired network.

Wireless local area network benefits

  • Mobility. Users can move around within the network range and still maintain a connection,offering flexibility and efficiency in workplaces and homes.
  • Easy setup. Setting up a WLAN can be faster and less disruptive than pulling cable through walls and ceilings.
  • Scalability. WLANs can be easily scaled up or down. Adding new users or devices may only need additional or more powerful access points.