wireless LAN

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wireless LAN

(wireless Local Area Network) A communications network that provides connectivity to wireless devices within a limited geographic area. "Wi-Fi" is the universal standard for connecting laptops and mobile devices in a home or office. It is commonly deployed alongside of Ethernet, and both wireless and wired devices can exchange data with each other for backup and file sharing. At home, Wi-Fi can also serve as the only network since all laptops and many printers come with Wi-Fi built in, and Wi-Fi can be added to desktop computers via USB. See Ethernet.

Wi-Fi is achieved with a wireless base station, called an "access point." Its antennas transmit and receive a radio frequency within a range of 30 to 150 feet through walls and other non-metal barriers. For details of the Wi-Fi standards, see 802.11. See Wi-Fi hotspot, cellular hotspot, wireless router, LAN switch, wireless broadband and WPAN.

Wi-Fi in a Company
In a big company, access points, switches and routers are stand-alone devices. In addition, industrial strength commercial products can cost 10 times as much as devices from the shopping mall.

Wi-Fi in the Home
For the home and small office, a wireless router combines three network devices in one box. For more details, see wireless router.
References in periodicals archive ?
UNEXPECTED ADVANTAGE: Because technologists charge departments for access points and installation, the school's IT department actually has been able to make money off the wireless LAN.
Although still growing, the wireless LAN market has been struggling to overcome a setback since the WEP key problem surfaced.
While wireless LANs aren't new, cost and performance issues--they were expensive and slow--kept them from making inroads into offices or homes.
Presents and independent, third-party onion as to the steps need to be taken to improve current wireless LAN penetration levels.
The Digivance WFX Wireless LAN Array delivers up to 864 Mbps of Wi-Fi bandwidth over a large area and allows up to 1,024 users to be wirelessly connected to the network.
The market for business-class wireless LAN will continue to see double-digit shipment growth for the remainder of the decade as companies increase wireless LAN coverage.
The CWNP Program is the industry standard for wireless LAN training and certification.
According to the Dell'Oro Group, the market for enterprise wireless LAN access equipment will reach $2 billion in 2006, up from $800 million in 2004 fueled by several key trends:
Founded in 1992, Wavelink Corporation is the industry's leading provider of software solutions for the management of wireless LAN networks and mobile devices and the development of mission-critical wireless applications.
The leaders in the wireless LAN marketplace are those companies that have the best trained sales people, VARs, and systems engineers," says Kevin Sandlin, CEO and co-founder of the CWNP Program.
Bluesocket's high performance, policy-based wireless LAN security and management solutions are deployed worldwide by hundreds of large institutions, corporations and public access providers utilizing Bluesocket's Secure Mobility(R) technology for wireless voice and data applications.

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