Types of Wireless networking technology and Comparison


The wireless networking use radio waves and/or microwaves to maintain communications in among devices of sender and receiver such as laptops to the Internet, the business network and applications. Hence a wireless networking is a computer networking technology that enables user devices to communicate and access applications and information without connected by wires of any kinds. When any wireless network device connected to Wi-Fi hot spots in public place, the connection is established to that business’s wireless network.

By concerning the access area of a wireless network the wireless networking technology divided into four major categories are as follows;

  1. Wireless Local Area Network (WLANs):
  2. Wireless Metropolitan Area Network (WMANs):
  3. Wireless Wide Area Network (WWANs):
  4. Wireless Personal Area Network (WPANs):

Wireless Local Area Network (WLANs): WLANs allows users to linking of two or more devices using a wireless distribution method that providing a connection through access points to the wider Internet. It provides mobility function to its users to covers local area such as a university campus, library or canteen, small offices or home to maintaining a network or gain access to the internet. In this technology a temporary network can be formed by a small number of users without the need of an access point (APs); given that they do not need access to network resources. Sometimes it calls a local area wireless network (LAWN).

Wireless Metropolitan Area Networks (WMANs): WMANs technology allows connecting several wireless LANs. In this connection of multiple networks includes metropolitan area such as different buildings in a city, which can be an alternative or backup to laying copper or fiber cabling. WMAN networking technology is also known as Wireless Local Loop (WLL). It allows communication in between two or more terminals (nodes) with the help of single access point, within a radius up to 40 km. The most well-known WMAN wireless networking technology includes WiMAX (WorldWide Interoperability for Microwave Access) created by WiMAX Forum which was founded by Esemble, Nokia, Harri and CrossSpan in 2001. This wireless network is also known as IEEE 802.16 (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), standard which defines the technology.

Wireless Wide Area Network (WWANs): Wireless Wide Area Network types of networks can be maintained over large areas, such as neighboring towns, cities or countries, via multiple satellite systems or antenna sites looked after by an ISP. These types of systems are referred to as 2G (2nd Generation), 3G (3rd Generation), 4G (4th Generation) systems and upcoming generation. WWAN services are typically delivered to smart phones and other handheld devices sold by cellular service providers. In the family of WWAN technologies includes GSM/UMTS, CDMA One/CDMA2000 etc.

Wireless Personal Area Network (WPANs):

WPAN is one another wireless technology that interconnects devices in a short span, generally within a person’s reach. The two current technologies that are part of WPAN technology are Infra Red (IR), Bluetooth (IEEE 802.15.1) and Zigbee (802.15.4). These will allow the connectivity of personal devices within an area of about 30 feet. However, IR requires a direct line of site and the range is less.

Compression of WLAN, WMAN, WWAN and WPAN wireless technology:

Type Coverage Performance Standards Applications
Wireless LAN Within a building or campus High IEEE 802.11, Wi-Fi, and HiperLAN Mobile extension of wired networks
Wireless MAN Within a city, two or more buildings High Proprietary, IEEE 802.16, and WIMAX Fixed wireless between homes and businesses and the Internet
Wireless WAN Worldwide Low CDPD and Cellular 2G, 2.5G, and 3G Mobile access to the Internet from outdoor areas
Wireless PAN Within reach of a person Moderate Wireless PAN Within reach of a person Moderate Bluetooth, Zigbee,  IEEE 802.15, and IrDa Cable replacement for peripherals Cable replacement for peripherals




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