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Wi-Fi and WLANs Explained

November 2016
A wireless local area network (WLAN) is a computer network which uses radio signalling to connect devices and users. A WLAN which uses the IEEE 802.11 communication standards is usually called Wi-Fi. Most Wi-Fi networks use the 2.5 GHz UHF and 5 GHz SHF radio bands.

WLANs are commonly deployed in physical settings requiring both network connectivity and user mobility – such as warehouses, factories, hospitals, motels and educational facilities. Most WLANS are password-protected, but some can be accessed openly. In public settings such as restaurants, shopping malls, libraries and hotels, a WLAN is generally designed to provide Internet access only.

Setting up a WLAN requires considerable planning and effort. In the scoping phase, certain questions need to be asked:-

• What is the purpose of the WLAN?
• Who will access the WLAN?
• What level of access will users require?
• How many users will access the WLAN at any one time?
• Which physical areas require coverage?

A technical site inspection (to define coverage and equipment requirements) usually accompanies the scoping phase.

Once scoping is completed, design of the WLAN takes place. The design phase covers aspects such as network topology, equipment and security. An implementation plan may also be part of the design process in larger installations.

The installation and testing phases complete what is usually a straightforward process overall.

Barcode Dynamics partners with Cisco Meraki, a world-leader in wireless technologies, to provide WLAN/Wi-Fi solutions. For further information and advice, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on 07 3399 6510.

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