Learn about Wireless Connectivity

Gain a deeper understanding of how a wireless local area network (WLAN) works, and its many benefits, by reading these frequently asked questions (FAQs).


This page provides answers to common questions about a wireless local-area network (WLAN). It outlines the differences between a WLAN and a wired network, the WLAN equipment you need, and the benefits you can expect from a WLAN.

Q: What is a WLAN?

A: A WLAN uses radio waves to transmit data and connect devices to the Internet and to your business network and applications.

Q: What is a wired network?

A: A wired network connects devices and transmits data using cables. In the past, wired networks were sometimes thought to be faster than a WLAN. However, today's WLAN has minimized that difference.

Q: What are the business benefits of a WLAN?

A: Your workforce has immediate, real-time access to a variety of data, such as customer records and inventory status. This allows employees to make faster, better decisions and be more responsive to customers. A WLAN gives employees the flexibility to work when and where they want to. And it can help your business develop more efficient ways to operate, such as streamlining order processing.

Q: What equipment do I need for a WLAN?

A: Many routers act as WLAN access points. You can extend the range of a WLAN with additional wireless access points in various locations. Receiving devices, such as laptops and some cell phones, must also be WLAN-capable.

Q: How secure is a WLAN?

A: In a wired network, data remains within the cables that connect computers and devices. Because a WLAN transmits and receives data through the open air, there is a greater threat that hackers or intruders can access or corrupt the data.

WLAN security, along with speed, has improved dramatically in recent years. To bolster security, a WLAN requires:

  • User authentication, to prevent unauthorized access to network resources
  • Data encryption, to protect the integrity and privacy of transmitted data


For more information please visit: Cisco 2100 Series Wireless LAN Controller