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Wireless Network System

Wireless LANs


WLAN technologies tend to follow one of the three Wi-Fi communication standards and the advantages of wireless networking depend on the standard employed:

  • 802.11b - was the first standard to be used in WLANs.

  • 802.11a - the standard is faster but was more expensive than the 802.11b, because of this it was used in business networks, but it is now widely used in the public sector.

  • The 802.11g, endeavored to combine the best of both 802.11a and 802.11b.

  • The latest in Wi-Fi technology is the 802.11ac. 802.11ac connectivity, makes previous standards look like snails and makes the aggravation from slow connection speeds and load times a thing of the past.

  • The latest in Wi-Fi technology is the 802.11ad. 802.11ad connectivity, makes previous standards look like snails and makes the aggravation from slow connection speeds and load times a thing of the past. 

  • The 802.11ad pushes routers, computers, servers, and printers in your home network into the next level. Because of this, an entire family can use an incredible amount of data without impacting anyone else on the network.

List of standards:

  • 802.11-1997 (802.11 legacy)

  • 802.11a

  • 802.11b

  • 802.11g

  • 802.11-2007

  • 802.11n

  • 802.11-2012

  • 802.11ac

  • 802.11ad


Wi-Fi networks can be configured in two different ways:

The Ad hoc approach allows wireless devices to communicate in a peer-to-peer manner.

The infrastructure method allows wireless devices to communicate with a central connection that in turn communicates with wired connections on that LAN.

Most LANs require an infrastructure method to access the Internet, a printer, or other wired items, whereas Ad hoc mode only supports basic file sharing between the wireless devices.

Both Wi-Fi approaches require a wireless network adapter/s, sometimes called WLAN cards. Infrastructure mode WLANs also need a central device called the access point.

The access point must be installed in a location where wireless signals can reach it with minimal interference.

Although Wi-Fi signals typically reach 100 feet (30 m) or more depending on your router, obstructions like walls can greatly reduce their range, especially in an old Victorian house like mine where the walls are three feet thick.


Most routers are wireless compatible so cost somewhat less than wired Ethernet products and most internet providers provide the router, filter, and a CAT 45 cable as part of the service. These days costs are minimal for a wireless network.


Wireless LANs suffer more reliability problems than wired LANs, nevertheless, perhaps not enough to be a significant concern.

Older 802.11b and 802.11g wireless signals were subject to interference from home appliances including:

  • Microwave ovens

  • Cordless telephones

  • Electronic garage doors

  • Fridges

But with the newer standards, this has all but disappeared. I will discuss setting up a wireless network later, along with port-forwarding so that you can login to your server, computer, or printer when away from home. Port-forwarding can be a challenge, so I will go through it in detail.


These days the performance of Wireless LANs is great compared with the older 802.11b, 802.11a, and 802.11g WLANs. But Wireless systems are not as fast as their wired counterparts.

Additionally, Wi-Fi performance is distance sensitive, meaning that maximum performance will degrade on a computer farther away from the access point and the more wireless devices used the WLAN performance degrades more.

Nowadays, the Wireless option is more than adequate for a home Internet connection for sharing files, printing, gaming, and media downloads and connecting additional devices like the iPhone and iPad.


Wireless LANs are less secure than wired LANs because wireless communication signals travel through the air and can be intercepted.

Many people have been through the courts for hacking into on to un-secure Wireless networks while out in their cars or sitting on a park bench. Known as war-driving it involves traveling through a residential area with their Wi-Fi equipment scanning the airwaves for unprotected WLANs. So, beware!

I cannot emphasize enough to set your Wireless network up securely, using the firewall and strong passwords.

Using the Privacy (WEP) encryption standard WLANs improves security greatly, but not as wired networks.

However, no computer network is completely secure, and you should ensure:

Home is Internet firewall is properly configured.

  • Household is acquainted with the danger of Internet ‘spoof emails’ and how to recognise them.

  • Household is aware of ‘spyware’ and how to avoid it.

  • Use anti-virus software and keep it updated.

To help protect your computer from Intrusion, Trojans, and Viruses you will need antivirus and firewall software installed on your computer. I use ESET and Malwarebytes, there are free alternatives, but I find the free options significantly less secure and reliable. Nearly all the infected computers I worked on in the industry had free versions and the removal of the risk and preventing data loss always cost more than purchasing the paid anti-virus and malware software combined.

Although Broadband routers have firewalls installed, these are not reliable so do not rely on this alone to protect your computers.

KEEP the antivirus and malware software updated on a regular basis, as new threats come onto the web daily.

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