WLAN FAQ

Wading Through the Acronyms of Wireless

What do all those wireless acronyms mean? Our expert explains the most common wireless terms. (1:48 min)

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Wading Through the Acronyms of Wireless

What do all those wireless acronyms mean? Our expert explains the most common wireless terms. (1:48 min)

This WLAN FAQ provides answers to the most prevalent questions about wireless local-area networks (WLANs). The following WLAN FAQ outlines the differences between wireless and wired networks, the equipment you’ll need, and the benefits you can expect.

WLAN FAQ: What’s a Wireless Network?

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

WLAN FAQ: What’s a Wired Network?

A wired network connects devices to the Internet or other networks using cables. In the past, wired networks were sometimes thought to be faster than wireless ones. However, today’s WLANs have minimized that difference.

WLAN FAQ: What are the Business Benefits of WLANs?

  • Your workforce has immediate, real-time access to a variety of data, such as customer records and inventory status. This enables employees to make faster and better decisions and be more responsive to customers.
  • Offering employees the flexibility to work when and where they want significantly increases their loyalty and job satisfaction.
  • Your business can develop more efficient ways to operate. For example, order processing can be streamlined to reduce cost and allow employees to spend more time developing new revenue streams.

WLAN FAQ: What Equipment Do I Need?

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

WLAN FAQ: How Secure are WLANs?

In a wired network, data remains within the cables that connect computers and devices. Because WLANs transmit and receive data through the open air, there’s 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, WLANs require:

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

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