MERAKI-CISCO WIRELESS LAN
A wireless LAN (WLAN) is a wireless computer network that links two or more devices using wireless communication to form a local area network (LAN) within a limited area such as a home, school, computer laboratory, campus, office building etc. This gives users the ability to move around within the area and yet still be connected to the network. Through a gateway, a WLAN can also provide a connection to the wider Internet.
Most modern WLANs are based on IEEE 802.11 standards and are marketed under the Wi-Fi brand name.
Wireless LANs have become popular for use in the home, due to their ease of installation and use. They are also popular in commercial properties that offer wireless access to their employees and customers.
Types of wireless LANs
The IEEE 802.11 has two basic modes of operation: infrastructure and ad hoc mode. In ad hoc mode, mobile units transmit directly peer-to-peer. In infrastructure mode, mobile units communicate through an access point that serves as a bridge to other networks (such as Internet or LAN).
Since wireless communication uses a more open medium for communication in comparison to wired LANs, the 802.11 designers also included encryption mechanisms: Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP, now insecure), Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA, WPA2, WPA3), to secure wireless computer networks. Many access points will also offer Wi-Fi Protected Setup, a quick (but now insecure) method of joining a new device to an encrypted network.
Wireless distribution system
A wireless distribution system (WDS) enables the wireless interconnection of access points in an IEEE 802.11 network. It allows a wireless network to be expanded using multiple access points without the need for a wired backbone to link them, as is traditionally required. The notable advantage of a WDS over other solutions is that it preserves the MAC addresses of client packets across links between access points.
An access point can be either a main, relay or remote base station. The main base station is typically connected to the wired Ethernet. A relay base station relays data between remote base stations, wireless clients or other relay stations to either a main or another relay base station. A remote base station accepts connections from wireless clients and passes them to relay or main stations. Connections between clients are made using MAC addresses rather than by specifying IP assignments.
All base stations in a WDS must be configured to use the same radio channel, and share WEP keys or WPA keys if they are used. They can be configured to different service set identifiers. WDS also requires that every base station is configured to forward to others in the system as mentioned above.
WDS capability may also be referred to as repeater mode because it appears to bridge and accept wireless clients at the same time (unlike traditional bridging). Throughput in this method is halved for all clients connected wirelessly.
When it is difficult to connect all of the access points in a network by wires, it is also possible to put up access points as repeaters.