WLAN or technically speaking, wireless local area network is the most admired technological innovations created by mankind. Using this technology, two or more devices can stay connected even without the hassles of using physical cable wires that will connect them together.
Believe it or not, even without these peripherals, devices are allowed to have connectivity to the internet anytime and anywhere as long as they meet the necessary requirements.
Three WLAN components
There are three particular WLAN components which are currently available and widely used by different individuals and organizations all over the world. Each component has a distinct characteristic and caters to specific needs of a particular person or organization.
Wireless Network Cards
Although these cards may look like your average card, they certainly have a lot tricks hiding underneath their sleeves. These cards act in ad hoc mode and work best if used in small roaming work groups of computer devices like your average laptop and desktop. These cards have the admirable ability to allow these devices to communicate with one another through client-to-access point mode or client-to-client mode set-up.
Wireless Access Point
Access point acts as the hub which provides wireless clients the desired ability to connect to the specific wired LAN backbone. This technology is significantly used by mobile phone providers because it is the best tool that can maintain the coverage area of their cell structures. Normally site providers conduct site surveys for them to know which particular area requires additional access point for them to properly distribute the much needed bandwidth needed to satisfy their clientele. The strategic location of wireless access points is very important because the speed of the data transfer greatly relies on these.
It is noticeable that the closer your device is to the center of the wireless access point the higher output you will experience. This is logically understandable because WLAN is facilitated through the process of auto shifting wherein data is effectively transferred to different devices by means of a downshift method based on the distance of these devices from the wireless access point. Nevertheless, most of the functionality of these systems depends on the products 802.11 standards used, which is the set of standards that must be followed in carrying out WLAN computer communications in GHz frequency bands ranging from 2.4 to 5.
These are effective wireless connectivity which is normally found in buildings. This technology allows high speed and long range outdoor links between buildings and communications which are seldom hindered by physical obstacles like railroads, freeways, and even bodies of water. This advantage makes wireless bridges much preferred over traditional copper wires and even for the more sophisticated fiber optic cables. This type of wireless component mostly benefits campus type of environments and is currently enjoyed by more universities all over the world.
Advantages of Using WLAN
Most professionals prefer using WLAN over network cables primarily because of the convenience it provides. WLAN has no restrictions. Your movement are not in any manner limited as long as you are covered by the WLAN zone and since every building is now equipped with Wireless Bridges as briefly discussed earlier. Thanks to WLAN technology, doing your necessary reports and passing it on time has never been that easier.
Business owners also enjoy particular economic benefits from using WLAN because it does not require them to waste money on unnecessary architectural make-over just to meet the growing demands for more network jacks which is a common experience in traditional network cables. There are no more scattered jacks on the floor or on the ceiling of your offices which definitely destroys the professional appeal of you work place. With WLAN installed in your office, you have wider space and less expenses to worry about.
History of WLAN
We are fortunate because we are now living in a time where WLAN is more economical to use than wired networks. Back in the early 90’s, WLAN is so expensive it was only used as an alternative means to the more cost effective wired networks in places where it is impossible to install a wired network. Luckily, IEEE 802.11 set of standards were devised and soon more and more companies shifted to WLAN.
Professor Norman Abramson of University of Hawaii is considered as the first developer of wireless computer communication network. He called it ALOHnet and it was efficiently used by the islands of Hawaii in 1970. This WLAN worked by using seven computers located in four different islands in Hawaii and connecting them to the central computer found in Oahu Island without using any cable wires.
Soon, Mr. Gfeller and Bapts published the IEEE proceedings report which contains their studies with regards to the use of experimental WLAN by diffused infrared communications in the year 1979. This was followed by similar researches, inventions and studies which involve the use of methods aside from that which involves the use of cable wires in connecting electrical and computer devices. Some of the personalities who contributed to the fast improvement of this technology were P. Ferrert, Kaveh Pahlavan, and M. Kavehrad.
The very first full scale generation of WLAN involved the use of wireless data modems which was developed in 1980. This was used by amateur radio operators and was soon referred to in technology as packet radio. The next generation of WLAN was then developed using spread spectrum technology and the third generation was very effective that it soon became compatible with existing LAN used by several companies.
The future of WLAN is still very promising. Technological prophets foresee the installation of WLAN in every infrastructure in the near future. This vision is not to be feared but celebrated because of the wide array of benefits WLAN has to offer to the public.
WLAN offers unlimited coverage, ease of use, simplicity and flexibility in operation, wide range of scalability and cost efficient installation and maintenance due to the elimination of cable costs and labor in installing this in your offices. So if your office is one of those remaining few who is still having second thoughts if they should get rid of their tradition LAN, better not waste any more of your precious time. Grab the nearest opportunity you may have and enjoy all the benefits WLAN has to offer you and your company.