Compare and contrast wired and wireless LANs. What unique concerns must be addressed by the designer of a wireless networks.
LAN is a local Area Network and a computer network covering a small physical area, like a home, office, restaurant or small group of buildings, such as a school, a college or an airport. Although a LAN can be used as an isolated network to connect computers in an organization for the sole purpose of sharing resources, most LANs today are also linked to a wide area network or the Internet. A LAN can be one of two types: wired or wireless. A wired LAN requires Ethernet cable to physically connect all computers on the network to a main device called a switch. Below is an example of wired LAN.
1.1 Wired Local Area Network
WLAN is a wireless local area network links devices via a wireless distribution method and usually provides a connection through an access point to the wider internet. This gives users the mobility to move around within a local coverage area and still be connected to the network. A wireless LAN uses radio waves to communicate, eliminating the need for wires. Therefore, the hardware used in a LAN should all be of either the wireless or wired type.
1.2 Wireless Local Area Network
Wireless networking hardware requires the use of underlying technology that deals with radio frequencies as well as data transmission. The most widely used standard is 802.11 produced by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). This is a standard defining all aspects of Radio Frequency wireless networking.
A Mixed Wireless Network is one with both wired and wireless connections. In a Mixed Wireless Network, some devices are directly connected via Ethernet cables, while other devices, including Desktops, Laptops connect wirelessly via Wi-Fi.
1.3 Wired and Wireless Local Area Network
Mixed Wireless Networks are ideal if you have one or more desktops within Ethernet cable range of your broadband modem with other wireless-enabled devices located throughout a house or office at too far a distance to run cable.
Computer networks for the home and small business can be built using either wired or wireless technology. Wired Ethernet has been the traditional choice, but Wi-Fi wireless technologies are gaining ground fast. Both wired and wireless can claim advantages over the other; both represent viable options for local area networks (LANs).
Here is the comparison for installation, cost, reliability, performance and security between Wired and Wireless LANs.
| Wireless LANs
In wired LANs Ethernet cables must be use between computers and other networking devices. It can be time and cost consuming. And also very difficult to run cables under the floor or through walls, especially when computers are located in different rooms. The installation of cable can be depending on the devices and the type of internet connection, and whether internal or external modems are used. However, none of these options pose any more difficulty than. Installation of cable is a main part of wired LAN. After installation, the remaining steps in configuring either wired or wireless LANs do not differ much. Both are using same standard Internet Protocol and operating system configuration options.
| Wi-Fi networks can be configured in two different ways: Ad-hoc and Infrastructure mode. Ad-hoc mode allows users to connect directly each other and can communicate in peer to peer mode. Ad-hoc networks make sense when needing to build a small, all-wireless LAN quickly and spend the minimum amount of money on equipment. On the other hand, Infrastructure mode allows wireless devices to communicate with a central node like access point that in turn can communicate with wired nodes on that LAN. Infrastructure mode is mostly used for internet connection, printer sharing or access other wired...
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