This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
WIRELESS LOCAL AREA NETWORK
A wireless LAN (or WLAN, for wireless local area network, sometimes referred to as LAWN, for local area wireless network) is one in which a mobile user can connect to a local area network (LAN) through awireless (radio) connection. The IEEE 802.11 group of standards specify the technologies for wireless LANs. 802.11 standards use the Ethernet protocoland CSMA/CA (carrier Privacyalgorithm. High-bandwidth allocation for wireless will make possible a relatively low-cost wiring of classrooms in the United States. A similar frequency allocation has been made in Europe. Hospitals and businesses are also expected to install wireless LAN systems where existing LANs are not already in place. Using technology from the Symbionics Networks, Ltd., a wireless LAN adapter can be made to fit on a Personal Computer Memory Card Industry Association (PCMCIA) card for a laptop or notebook computer. sense multiple access with collision avoidance) for path sharing and include an encryption method, the Wired Equivalent
adds.10CE100 Wireless LAN 1. Security provisions are typically built into wireless LANs. Second. It is extremely difficult for unintended receivers (eavesdroppers) to listen in on wireless LAN traffic. and changes. The number of access points typically depends on the required coverage region and/or the number and types of users to be serviced. In general. and range in price from $200. 1.000.00.3Scalability Wireless networks can be designed to be extremely simple or quite complex. Wireless networks can support large numbers of nodes and/or large physical areas by adding access points to boost or extend coverage. First.00.00 to $700. a WLAN eliminates the direct costs of cabling and the labor associated with installing and repairing it. 1. The coverage area is proportional to the square of the product range. CITC(CE) 2 . Infrastructure costs depend primarily on the number of access points deployed. Complex encryption techniques make it impossible for all but the most sophisticated to gain unauthorized access to network traffic. because WLANs simplify moves. Wireless LAN adapters are required for standard computer platforms. they reduce the indirect costs of user downtime and administrative overhead.00 to $2.2Cost A wireless LAN implementation includes both infrastructure costs for the wireless access points and user costs for the wireless LAN adapters. making them more secure than most wired LANs. security has long been a design criterion for wireless devices. individual nodes must be securityenabled before they are allowed to participate in network traffic. access points range in price from $800. The cost of installing and maintaining a wireless LAN is generally lower than the cost of installing and maintaining a wired LAN for two reasons.1Security Because wireless technology has roots in military applications.
very little exposure to RF energy is provided to those in the area of a wireless LAN system.5 Safety The output power of wireless LAN systems is very low.10CE100 Wireless LAN 1. 1. WLAN vendors typically employ special design techniques to maximize the host computer’s energy usage and battery life. Wireless LANs must meet stringent government and industry regulations for safety. and run off the battery power from their host notebook or hand-held computer. No adverse health affects have ever been attributed to wireless LANs. much less than that of a hand-held cellular phone. Since radio waves fade rapidly over distance.4 Battery Life for Mobile Platforms End-user wireless products are capable of being completely untethered. CITC(CE) 3 .
Chip sets aimed at wireless LAN implementations and applications. who commonly referred to this as packet radio. with data rates below 9600-bit/s. ad-hoc networking.11 standard and variants and alternatives." "The first of the IEEE Workshops on Wireless LAN was held in 1991. point-to-point LAN bridges. The focus of that first workshop was evaluation of the alternative technologies. By 1996. typically in the two meter amateur band. They added a voice band data communication modem. HISTORY OF WIRELESS LAN The first generation of wireless data modems was developed in the early 1980s by amateur radio operators.11committee had just started its activities to develop a standard for wireless LANs. were emerging in the market. At that time early wireless LAN products had just appeared in the market and the IEEE 802. and other in building and campus settings for nomadic access. The second generation of wireless modems was developed immediately after the FCC announcement in the experimental bands for non-military use of the spread spectrum technology. Several companies developed the third generation products with data rates above 1 Mbit/s and a couple of products had already been announced by the time of the first IEEE Workshop on Wireless LANs. a variety of applications had been identified and addressed and technologies that enable these applications were well understood. The IEEE 802.10CE100 Wireless LAN 2. the technology was relatively mature. and even larger applications through internetworking. Wireless LANs were being used in hospitals. such as the CITC(CE) 4 . These modems provided data rates on the order of hundreds of kbit/s. a key enabling technology for rapid market growth. to an existing short distance radio system. The third generation of wireless modem then aimed at compatibility with the existing LANs with data rates on the order of Mbit/s. stock exchanges.
10CE100 Wireless LAN wireless LAN interoperability forum and the EuropeanHiperLAN specification had made rapid progress. An alternative ATM-like 5 GHz standardized technology. but at the end of the 1990s these were replaced by standards.11 (Wi-Fi). later on renamed as U-NII. bands also presented new opportunities. CITC(CE) 5 . HiperLAN/2. almost certainly never will. Early development included industry-specific solutions and proprietary protocols. and with the release of the faster 54 Mbit/s 802. and the unlicensed PCS Unlicensed Personal Communications Services and the proposed SUPERNet." WLAN hardware was initially so expensive that it was only used as an alternative to cabled LAN in places where cabling was difficult or impossible.11a (5 GHz) and 802.11g (2. has so far not succeeded in the market. primarily the various versions of IEEE 802.4 GHz) standards.
3. 3. A wireless Ethernet bridge allows the connection of devices on a wired Ethernet network to a wireless network. It allows a wireless network to be expanded using multiple access points without the need for a wired backbone to link them. The notable advantage of WDS over other solutions is that it preserves the MAC addresses of client packets across links between access points. Wireless devices within range of each other can discover and communicate directly without involving central access points. A peer-to-peer (P2P) network allows wireless devices to directly communicate with each other. There is no base and no one gives permission to talk.1 Peer-to-peer Peer-to-Peer or ad-hoc wireless LAN An ad-hoc network is a network where stations communicate only peer to peer (P2P). This method is typically used by two computers so that they can connect to each other to form a network. TYPES OF WLAN 3. This is accomplished using the Independent Basic Service Set (IBSS).10CE100 Wireless LAN 3.11 network.2 Bridge A bridge can be used to connect networks. typically of different types. The bridge acts as the connection point to the Wireless LAN. CITC(CE) 6 . as is traditionally required.3 Wireless distribution system A Wireless Distribution System is a system that enables the wireless interconnection of access points in an IEEE 802.
Infrared (IR) Infrared is generally considered to be more secure to eavesdropping.4 . as opposed to radio frequency transmissions. and 300 .I t is easy to generate and can travel long distance. Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) In a Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) system. IEEE 802. frequency hopping spread spectrum. It is immune to electrical interface. and the spread-spectrum protocol of 802. scientific.4835 GHz frequency band (in the case of spread-spectrum transmission).11 does provide some rudimentary security for typical data transfers. because IR transmissions require absolute line-of-sight links (no transmission is possible outside any simply connected space or around corners).2. which actually handles the transmission of data between nodes. Spread Spectrum Radio Spread-spectrum protocol of 802. Most frequency hopping systems employ Gaussian Frequency Shift CITC(CE) 7 . PHYSCAL LAYER The PHY layer. infrared transmissions can be adversely affected by sunlight. and medical (ISM) applications.10CE100 Wireless LAN 4. Its data rate is 2Mbps.11 does provide some rudimentary security for typical data transfers. 4.000 GHz for IR transmission.1. 4.11 makes provisions for data rates of either 1 Mbps or 2 Mbps. and calls for operation in the 2. It can also penetrate through wall. which is an unlicensed band for industrial.428. or infrared (IR) pulse position modulation.2. the data is modulated on to the carrier in a manner identical to that employed for standard narrow band communications. Infrared transmissions can be adversely Provide data rate between 1Mbs and 2Mbps at a wavelength between 850nm and 950 nm. can use either direct sequence spread spectrum.3. Two types of this technology ---Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) ---Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) 4. which can penetrate walls and be intercepted by third parties unknowingly. However.
10CE100 Wireless LAN Keyed modulation. data is transferred in the same manner as if the transmitter and receiver were each tuned to a single fixed frequency. but using different hopping sequences. 5. either two or four level. then multiple users can share the same frequency band on a non-interfering basis. The carrier frequency is then changed (hopped) to a new frequency in accordance with a pre-determined hopping sequence. If the receiver frequency is then hopped in synchronism with the transmitter.WLAN Configurations CITC(CE) 8 . If different transmitter-receiver pairs hop throughout the same band of frequencies.
Extended-Range Independent WLAN Using Access Point as Repeater 5. effectively doubling the distance between wireless PCs.1 Independent WLANs The simplest WLAN configuration is an independent (or peer-to-peer) WLAN that connects a set of PCs with wireless adapters. Any time two or more wireless adapters are within range of each other. Figure 3.10CE100 Wireless LAN 5. Independent WLAN Access points can extend the range of independent WLANs by acting as a repeater (see Figure 4). multiple access points link the WLAN to the wired CITC(CE) 9 . they can set up an independent network (Figure 3). Figure 4.2Infrastructure WLANs In infrastructure WLANs. These ondemand networks typically require no administration or preconfiguration.
Multiple access points can provide wireless coverage for an entire building or campus. Infrastructure WLAN 6. The access points not only provide communication with the wired network but also mediate wireless network traffic in the immediate neighborhood. Figure 5. AWLAN will make it simple to add or move workstations and to install access points to provide connectivity in areas where it is difficult to lay cable. Advantages of WLANs WLANs have advantages and disadvantages when compared with wired LANs. Temporary or semi CITC(CE) 10 .10CE100 Wireless LAN network and allow users to efficiently share network resources.
A WLAN has some specific advantages: • • • It is easier to add or move workstations. • In historic buildings where traditional cabling would compromise the façade. 7. Where computer labs are used in schools. a directional antenna can be used to avoid digging trenches under roads to connect the sites. • • • Access to the network can be from anywhere within range of an access point. Installation is fast and easy. and it can eliminate the need to pull cable through walls and ceilings. It is easier to provide connectivity in areas where it is difficult to lay cable. a WLAN can avoid the need to drill holes in walls. Wired network points would be needed for each of the access points. provided they are in range of access points. Portable or semi permanent buildings can be connected using a WLAN. CITC(CE) 11 . DISADVANTAGES OF WLAN WLANs also have some disadvantages: • As the number of computers using the network increases. installation expenses can be significantly lower. the computers (laptops) could be put on a mobile cart and wheeled from classroom to classroom.10CE100 Wireless LAN permanent buildings that are in range of an access point can be wirelessly connected to a LAN to give these buildings connectivity. • When a facility is located on more than one site (such as on two sides of a road). • Long-term cost benefits can be found in dynamic environments requiring frequent moves and changes. the data transfer rate to each computer will decrease accordingly. Although the initial investment required for WLAN hardware can be similar to the cost of wired LAN hardware.
WLAN limitations The first limitation of a WLAN is often overlooked—WLANs transmit data via CITC(CE) 12 . with the distance determined by the standard used and buildings and other obstacles between the access point and the user. a WLAN should be a supplement to a wired LAN and not a complete solution. 8. Devices will only operate at a limited distance from an access point. it may be necessary to replace wireless cards and/or access points. • Lower wireless bandwidth means some applications such as video streaming will be more effective on a wired LAN. • • Security is more difficult to guarantee and requires configuration.. • Long-term cost benefits are harder to achieve in static environments that require few moves and changes.10CE100 Wireless LAN • As standards change. • A wired LAN is most likely to be required to provide a backbone to the WLAN.
in effect. there are a lot of other devices which use the same band. then it is very likely that WLANs operating in the 2. like X-Ray machines. but not both unless you install either a dual antenna access point (with one antenna inside the building and one outside) or two access points. In such cases. are also metal boxes. 802. they use the 2.11g. Another significant consideration for would-be WLAN builders is that the 802.4GHz band is unlicensed. Since the 2. Since the signal characteristics can change from acceptable to unusable within a meter or two. like metal boxes—many industrial buildings act like metal boxes.4GHz option.4GHz band would be unreliable. For this reason all the limitations of shared bandwidth in copper Ethernet environments apply to CITC(CE) 13 . trees and vegetation. metal boxes too. In the case of 802.11 standards family provide shared bandwidth.10CE100 Wireless LAN radio waves. If. Certain types of equipment. is competition for the spectrum. Metal boxes are not the only thing which can stop a radio wave.11b and 802. Two common examples of this are digital cordless telephones and devices using Bluetooth. Scientific and Medical) band and 5GHz band respectively.11a—which would be more expensive than the 2. especially in the unlicensed 2.4GHz units to 5GHz would require a complete resurvey of the WLAN site. Changing from 2. such surveys have to be done very carefully and in great detail. you can use wireless transmission either inside the building or outside it. for example. and would almost certainly require more access points as higher frequencies do not propagate as well as lower ones in a physically cluttered environment. There are things which stop radio waves. access points are bridges not switches. which would further add to the cost of the upgrade.4GHz ISM band used by 802. Bank and/or document vaults are. ordinary walls. The next problem when deploying a WLAN. A 5GHz WLAN may also incur a license fee depending on local regulations.11g.11b and 802.e. Naturally the people writing the standards for WLANs take all these situations into account.4GHz ISM (Industrial. thick stone walls. especially a low power signal of the sort used by WLANs. The company would have to restrict itself to a WLAN in the 5GHz band—i. all interfere with the transmission of a microwave signal. Distance. but in practice one has to physically survey a proposed WLAN site with at least a WLAN access point and one or more portable clients. a company chose to use Bluetooth telephone handsets.
9.10CE100 Wireless LAN WLANs. In a wired network you segment the system by simply breaking the network in half and adding a bridge or a switch. You can add more access points to a given area.11 Task Groups are working to ensure that WLAN channels are used as efficiently as possible. but not without limit as they are all using the same set of channels. but you can't break a wireless link in half. but unfortunately the most common solution—segmentation—is much harder to apply. The 802. APPLICATIONS OF WIRELESS LAN CITC(CE) 14 . but the fact remains that copper-based LANs are always going to permit greater client density than WLANs.
The following list describes some of the many applications made possible through the power and flexibility of wireless LANs: • Doctors and nurses in hospitals are more productive because hand-held or notebook computers with wireless LAN capability deliver patient information instantly. Warehouse workers use wireless LANs to exchange information with central databases and increase their productivity. • Network managers installing networked computers in older buildings find that wireless LANs are a cost-effective network infrastructure solution. Network managers implement wireless LANs to provide backup for missioncritical applications running on wired networks. • • • • • 10. Retail store owners use wireless networks to simply frequent network reconfiguration. adds. information exchanges. and changes with wireless LANs. REFERENCES CITC(CE) 15 . • Consulting or accounting audit engagement teams or small workgroups increase productivity with quick network setup. Trade show and branch office workers minimize setup requirements by installing preconfigured wireless LANs needing no local MIS support. Senior executives in conference rooms make quicker decisions because they have real-time information at their fingertips. thereby reducing the cost of LAN ownership. • • Training sites at corporations and students at universities use wireless connectivity to facilitate access to information.10CE100 Wireless LAN Wireless LANs frequently augment rather than replace wired LAN networks-often providing the final few meters of connectivity between a backbone network and the mobile user. and learning. Network managers in dynamic environments minimize the overhead of moves.
http://www.html CITC(CE) 16 .com/learning_center/index_applications.cwnp.wikipedia.pulsewan. http:// searchmobilecomputing.10CE100 Wireless LAN 1. http://en.com/data101/wireless_lan_basics.com/definition/wireless-LAN 2.htm 4. http://www.techtarget.org/wiki/Wireless_LAN 3.