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Top 8 Wireless LAN Tools

Aruba WirelessCisco WirelessCisco Meraki Wireless LANRuckus WirelessHuawei WirelessUbiquiti WLANAruba InstantNETGEAR Insight Access Points
  1. leader badge
    The Airwave is the best feature for a single management point for all APs in the environment. Aruba Wireless offers a good user experience.
  2. leader badge
    The most valuable features of Cisco Wireless are security and the ability to manage everything easily. Other solutions, such as Aruba are not as simple.
  3. Find out what your peers are saying about Aruba Networks, Cisco, Ruckus and others in Wireless LAN. Updated: October 2021.
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  4. leader badge
    It is easy to set up. You can do everything on the GUI. You don't need to trace cables. You don't need to connect to the switch. Everything is there, right in front of you.
  5. leader badge
    Ruckus Wireless is more of a plain Wi-Fi solution where it does the basic job well. Additionally, it has good conductivity, easy to use, simple to manage, and its access points can be used as standalone devices which gives flexibility in the SMB market.
  6. The solution is easy to set up.It has all of the features that we need.
  7. You can save backups of this controller locally and then I can export it to wherever I want.The solution is very easy to install.
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  9. The quick setup and automatic code embedded in one access point is really useful.The products offer a lot of flexibility. Almost everything can be configured. It works very well for providing remote services.
  10. I'm able to do a lot of things, because the GUI is designed very well. I'm able to remotely make certain changes via my phone and apply them right away. It makes life easier when it comes to managing the equipment. The Insight management solution phone app is very good. It enables me to do what I want to do.

What is a Wireless LAN (WLAN)?

A wireless LAN (WLAN) is a type of wireless computer network that forms a local area network (LAN) by linking devices using wireless communication. These networks use radio transmissions instead of cable or wired connections. WLANs often use an access point (AP) to connect to the public internet.

Wireless connections are the most popular form of connecting to the internet. Wireless networks are inexpensive, easy to set up, and unobtrusive.

How does a wireless LAN work?

A WLAN (wireless local area network) transmits data using radio waves. The network gives access to the internet without the need for connecting cables. Instead, a WLAN uses a device called an access point (AP) to connect wireless devices to the local area network (LAN).

High-frequency radio waves transmit packets from the LAN to your computer. The data packets going through the WLAN have instructions and addresses assigned to endpoints so that the network can route the packets to the designated locations. Wi-Fi networks are a type of WLAN that conforms to a specific standard.

Here’s how a WLAN sends information:

  1. The computer’s wireless adapter translates the data into a radio signal and transmits it using an antenna.
  2. The wireless router receives the signal and sends the information to the internet.

Similarly, when the router receives information from the internet, it translates it into a radio signal and sends it to the computer’s wireless adapter.

Is WLAN the same as Wi-Fi?

Wi-Fi is a type of Wireless LAN (WLAN). Both technologies connect devices without the need for Ethernet cables or dial-up modems.

Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity) is a type of wireless network that uses a wireless router to connect different devices. Wi-Fi allows desktops, mobile devices, and other types of equipment, like printers, scanners, sensors, and cameras, to connect to the internet.

Wireless routers are commonly found in homes and offices, connecting you to your internet provider’s network. Mobile devices can share their wireless connections with other devices when the phone’s mobile hotspot is enabled.

Types of Wireless LAN

A wireless local area network (WLAN) can have two different types of configurations: 

Infrastructure

In this model, the endpoints connect and communicate through a base station, which often also provides internet access. The infrastructure consists of a few basic parts: the wireless router that acts as a base station, endpoint devices, desktops, and mobile devices. Usually, the router also connects the devices to the internet.

Ad Hoc

This model doesn’t use a base station to connect endpoints. This type of WLAN only requires the endpoints (such as mobile devices) to have built-in radio transmission. A user can adjust the network settings to allow the ad hoc connection, becoming visible to others, who can then connect to him.

In terms of connectivity, there are three types of WLAN deployments:

Centralized

This is the most common type of wireless network system, typically deployed in places where buildings are close to each other. This type of deployment enables advanced wireless functionality. The network controllers are usually installed at a central location.

Converged

Converged deployment combines wired and wireless connections on one network device - the access switch. This device works as a wireless controller and as a network switch.

Cloud-Based

Some wireless networks use the cloud to manage on-premises devices at different locations. This keeps the controller in the cloud, enabling management, monitoring, and updating the WLAN.

Benefits of WLAN

What are the benefits of wireless local area networks (LANs) over wired LANs?

A wireless LAN connects devices wirelessly, using an access point (AP) that connects the devices to the internet, sending and receiving information packets through radio frequencies. This wireless connection provides the same service as wired LAN but without the cost and the hassle of installing massive cable routes to connect users with the network.

Benefits of a wireless LAN network include:

  • High data transfer rate because it is set in a small area. WLAN routers generally have a range of 100 meters. Therefore, they overlap to cover a specific area.
  • WLANs are more easily scalable than LANs, since it is easy to simply add more routers.
  • WLAN enables companies to expand internet access where wiring is not possible or cost-effective. For instance, in public spaces, rental offices, and historic buildings.
  • Flexible: Use of WLAN reduces physical wires. It also allows you to move your workstation without losing connectivity.
  • Allows work from anywhere: With a WLAN, workers can stay connected from any device, be it a tablet, laptop, or mobile.
  • Simple and fast to install: You don’t need to pass the cable through walls to install a WLAN. Installing a WLAN is as simple as connecting the wireless router.
  • Cost-effective: The cost of installing and maintaining a WLAN is lower than of a wired LAN. You don’t have the cost of cabling, including overhead costs for installation and maintenance. Updating the network is also easier and cheaper.
  • Mobile: Users can access the network’s resources without needing to plug the device into a router. Wireless network areas enable users to connect from anywhere under the network coverage area.
  • Range of coverage: WLANs are not limited by the distance the cable goes. While the typical range of a WLAN node is about 100 meters, the network is easy to expand by adding more access points. This also makes WLAN scalable.





Find out what your peers are saying about Aruba Networks, Cisco, Ruckus and others in Wireless LAN. Updated: October 2021.
542,721 professionals have used our research since 2012.