Wireless Network (WLAN)

What is it?
What can it do?
Who is it designed for?

What is it?

A WLAN is a network without cables. Wireless networks can offer all the benefits of traditional cabled networking but without the constraints of miles of unruly cable and without confining users to working at a desk next to an Ethernet connection point.

WLAN-enabled laptops and handheld devices are connected anytime they are in a wireless network's range. All we need to set up a WLAN for you is an access point, antennas and adapters for each PC, laptop and handheld device - though many laptops are wirelessly enabled without an external adapter, using Intel’s latest Centrino system.

You may have heard the term WiFi in connection with WLANs - often the two are assumed to be the same and you will probably read more in the press about WiFi than WLAN. In fact, WiFi is short for Wireless Fidelity and refers to a set of industry standards (IEEE 802.11) that most (but not all) WLANs are built to.

What can it do?

WLAN enables workers to easily share a single business broadband connection across the office, and to remain online if they move their laptop/PDA around the wireless-enabled space.

WLANs can be used to easily extend network accessibility to areas where cabling might not be cost effective or practical, for example from an office to its adjacent warehouse or storeroom, across retail outlets and hotels, or across public spaces such as health centres and job centres. Mechanics in a warehouse access parts information via a handheld wirelessly-enabled PDA rather than continually crossing the floor to check a PC.

Wireless connectivity allows users to make more flexible and efficient use of space and to provide non-networked users with access to hardware such as WLAN-enabled printers and peripherals.

WLAN 'hotspots' are wireless-enabled areas offering customers access to a broadband internet connection, usually for a usage fee. fwcs provides a free WiFi hotspot to local restaurants & bars at our location in Harrow on the Hill.

Who is it designed for?

The size of your business and premises will dictate your wireless needs. A WLAN access point or gateway serves as the central base station for your network. A typical WLAN access point can support some 15 to 20 users, so most small offices need only a single access point. A WLAN can cover up to 100m indoors and 300m outdoors. The range may vary based on the building or environment you're using it in.

WLAN technology suits relatively stationary or slow-moving, but not desk-bound, users in a defined area, and opens up non-cabled areas of space away from the desk for working, for example 'quiet rooms' or extra meeting rooms. The application of WLAN technology in warehouses, for example barcode scanners, can be useful for many businesses.

With additional hardware (networking bridge) or linked hotspots, businesses that have separate locations up to a few miles apart can use a WLAN to network offices.

WLAN provides a good networking basis for users wanting to move to VoIP-type systems (Voice over Internet Protocol) - see the VoIP area of our website for more information. Using VoWLAN (Voice over WLAN) technology, along with special handsets that look like phones, wireless networks can carry voice data in the same way that VoIP does, allowing a complete 'hot desking' scenario in the office.

Telephone 020 8869 8484
E-mail sales@fwcs.co.uk
Fax 020 8423 0299
Telephone 0870 443 4001
E-mail support@fwcs.co.uk
Fax 020 8423 0299
90 High Street,
Harrow-on-the-Hill, Middlesex, HA1 3LP, England
Wireless Solutions

Case Study
MAN - Commercial Long Range
PAN - Personal Area Network
WLAN - Wireless Local Network
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