Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » Did You Know » Hardware & Software »

How Do I Deploy a Wireless LAN?


Wireless networks are relatively easy to implement these days, especially when compared to the prospect of having to route wires when deploying a new wired network or overhauling an existing one.  At the same time, some predeployment planning can make a huge difference in terms of ensuring the optimal speed, scalability, and security of your wireless LAN. Let's take a look at some of the key issues to address prior to deploying a wireless network that can have a significant impact on the overall ROI for your home or business.

Wireless LAN Standards

Network WAN Optimization


The first step in planning a wireless LAN deployment should be to decide on your wireless networking technology standard. Keep in mind that the standard you ultimately select will need to accommodate your network access points and routers as well as the entire collection of wireless network interface cards (NICs) for your computers and other network resources.  The main wireless standards in use today are 802.11a, which has a theoretical maximum speed of 11 Mbps; 802.11b, which maxes out at 54 Mbps; 802.11g, which also maxes out at 54 Mbps; and 802.11n, which has a theoretical maximum speed of 250 Mbps.  Newer standards like 802.11n can also work with older standards but do so with a considerable negative impact on wireless network performance.

Wireless Network Speeds

Having to accommodate multiple standards due to older or incompatible routers and NICs is just one of several factors that can slow down a wireless LAN. Another is the distance you anticipate your wireless computers and resources will be from your access points and routers.   Radio frequency (RF) interference is another factor that can significantly impact your wireless network's speed.

Wireless networks that operate in the 2.4 GHz frequency band (802.11b and 802.11g) will be working in the same frequency range as cordless phones, Bluetooth devices, wireless video cameras, microwave ovens and baby monitors, all of which can cause significant interference with your wireless network and degraded performance as a result.  Wireless LANs that operate in the 5 GHz frequency band (802.11a and 802.11n, which utilizes both the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz frequencies) may find RF interference in the form of newer cordless phones and other devices.

Wireless Network Security

Management


Security is critical for your wireless network, even more so in some respects than with a wired network due to the threat of Wi-Fi eavesdroppers and hackers.  Whether your wireless LAN will be deployed in your home or business, an integrated security policy that accommodates all of your users, computers and data on both the wireless and wired networks should be planned and implemented prior to deploying your wireless network.  User authentication, proper authorization of access point and network interface cards, data encryption (WEP or WPA/WPA2), personal firewalls on computers and other security safeguards all need to be researched and addressed as part of implementing your network security policy.

Summary

Deploying a wireless network installation involves selecting the wireless LAN standard that will best meet your networking environment's needs and specifications, properly addressing the potential for interference and other network speed considerations, and implementing a comprehensive network security policy.

Congratulations!  You now have a better understanding of the important factors that need to be addressed prior to deploying your wireless local area network.







TECH RESOURCES FROM OUR PARTNERS
QUICK REFERENCE
How to Create a Desktop Shortcut to a Website

Creating desktop shortcuts to a websites is useful. When you double-click the icon from your desktop it automatically launches the browser and... Read More »

Flash Data Storage Vendor Trends

Although it is almost impossible to keep up with the pace of ongoing product releases, here are three recent highlights in the flash data storage... Read More »

15 Important Big Data Facts for IT Professionals

Keeping track of big data trends, research and statistics gives IT professionals  a solid foundation to plan big data projects. Here are 15... Read More »

DID YOU KNOW?
Keeping Data Secure Is Tougher than Ever

If hackers get their hands on your company's data, they can wreak havoc on customer relationships and cause tremendous damage to your brand and... Read More »

Windows XP: Move Along, There's Nothing to See Here

After more than 12 years of holding the title of most popular operating system in the world, Windows XP is taking center stage for its final... Read More »

Report: The Role of Big Data in the Marketing Industry

According to a new study from Infogroup Targeting Solutions, we can expect to see companies spend heavily on big data marketing initiatives in... Read More »