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Time: November 16th, 2023

This article explains the major difference between wired LAN and wireless LAN and what are applications when it comes to daily life. 

We are pretty sure that you might have heard the term "Local Area Network" or LAN for short, is an internal network available for one's personal use in a confined space. LANs are usually connected with workstations, servers, and host computers that are connected via switches or routers. The main purpose of LANs is to act as access points via which several users can concurrently access server resources. The two most common types of LANs are wired LANs and Wireless LANs. We will go through both of them and also discuss the difference between wired LAN and wireless LAN.  

What is Wired LAN?
A wired local area network is a network in which a group of linked devices are connected with a cable connection in a single physical space (e.g., a house, office, floor of a building, or entire building). These computer networks can be found in buildings, from a few workstations in one office to hundreds or even thousands of devices. They are the most common means of connecting computers and provide shared access to file servers, printers, and other services.

Wired LAN can have many different sizes, from a single-user network at home to an enterprise network in an office or school with thousands of users and devices. This kind of network has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. 

What is Wireless LAN?
As the name implies, this type of LAN connects devices within a restricted region using high-frequency radio waves rather than cables. Also termed as Wireless Local Networks, or WLANs, are wireless computer networks and their users within these wireless LAN connections are free to roam about this constrained space, which includes places like homes, offices, schools, train stations, and so on. The most common and rather the foundation of the majority of WLANs is Wi-Fi as standardized by IEEE 802.11. 

Difference between wired LAN and Wireless LAN
1.  Wireless LAN has no medium between host devices and network devices. In Wired LAN, there is always a cable connection. 

2.  Both wired and wireless connection methods can be used within a network configured with wired connections. While in WLAN, only wireless connections are there. 

3.  In comparison to WLAN connections, LAN connections are more affordable and secure. Whereas, compared to wired connections, WLAN connections are more costly and seen as less secure. 

4.  Setting up a LAN is a somewhat complicated process. Ethernet cables are required to link many network devices, such as switches and routers. But a WLAN can be configured and set up quite easily. 
5.  With LANs, the weather has less of an influence and performance is good. However, the performance of a WLAN might be affected by changes in weather. 

6.  A LAN's mobility is not possible in which ethernet is required for device connectivity. Whereas, WLAN is very portable, and connecting network devices doesn't require ethernet. 

8.  You will find PCs, laptops, workstations, and servers connected with LAN connections while in WLAN, you will also find PCs, laptops, and mobile devices which all use Wi-Fi standard or hotspot technology.

9.  LAN connections are difficult to break whereas in WLAN, connectivity can be disrupted easily. 

10.  Due to the increased energy required to convey signals over greater distances, WLANs are less efficient than cable connections used in a typical wired LAN network. Wireless users will have to wait longer for their downloads and web pages to load since wired connections transfer information more quickly. But with the advancement in Wi-Fi technologies, this barer of speed is diminishing but wired LANs still retain more speed with reliability with the expense of being static networks. 

Nowadays and in everyday life, you will see thousands of devices that may be smoothly running on WLANs. A WLAN's coverage and range can also be expanded by adding one or more repeaters. Nonetheless, compared to conventional cable LANs, wireless LANs are seen to be less secure but nowadays they are a more common medium of network devices. 

Wrapping Up:
We laid down the fundamental difference between wired LAN and wireless LAN and having said all of that, we do not want to imply that one form of network is better. Both wired and wireless components are frequently found in high-quality home networks. For high-speed transfers on desktop computers and other stationary devices, Ethernet connections are superior. An ideal solution would be to go for a wired plus wireless, or hybrid network. You might have to spend some time configuring it correctly and adding a firewall to safeguard your network's integrity and privacy while making use of the advantages offered by both technologies.

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