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Chapter 1. WLAN Fundamentals > Wireless Networks and Topologies

Wireless Networks and Topologies

Wireless Network Types

Wireless networks use different technologies depending on the distance to achieve, the number of devices to connect, and the amount of information to transmit. The technologies include

Wireless personal-area networks (WPAN): Have a short range (up to 20–30 feet/7–10 meters), commonly use the 802.15 family of specifications to connect two or a few devices with low power consumption. Bluetooth is an example of WPAN protocol.

Wireless local-area networks (WLAN): Consume more power but extend the connection to about 300 feet (100 meters). WLANs are the main topic of this book.

Wireless metropolitan-area network (WMAN): Extend the range to a larger geographic area, such as a city or suburb. Applications vary from point-to-point or point-to-multipoint links to multiuser coverage. WMANs typically use licensed frequencies (a fee has to be paid for permission to use the frequency), although implementations in the ISM bands can also be found. WiMAX is an example of WMAN protocol (most WiMAX implementations use licensed bands).


  

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