Advantages & disadvantages of wireless lan

Written by dan seitz
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Advantages & disadvantages of wireless lan
Internet access, anywhere (computer image by blaine stiger from

Wireless Local Area Networks (LAN) are increasingly popular. Groups from fast food restaurants to libraries offer the Internet over the air for free, and the equipment to set one up in your home or office is increasingly becoming cheaper. However, there are both advantages and disadvantages to wireless LANs.

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Wireless LANs have one huge advantage over wired networks; connecting to them is as simple as logging onto a website. Most modern laptops come with a wireless card that can connect to any network, so instead of having multiple Ethernet jacks or wired terminals, all you need is the network password.


One drawback of wireless is that due to connection speeds, it's slower than wired access. This is especially true of a network with multiple users. The more users who log on, the slower their connections will be as the router has to handle more connections.


Expanding wired networks is difficult. Either cables have to be strung underfoot, or walls and floors ripped out and jacks added in to allow users to connect to the network. With wireless, however, adding more connectivity is as simple as adding another router to handle network traffic. Expanding a wireless network is much cheaper and less complicated, giving people with a lot of area to offer connections to a simple way to do so.


Wireless networks are less secure than wired networks, both in terms of access and in terms of user information. Because the information to and from the computer is broadcast instead of travelling over a wire, it is much easier to intercept. Even if people aren't looking to steal your information, user can exploit an insecure network to use your Internet access, slowing down your connection.

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