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What Is WLAN?

Timmy Thermal TMUnderstanding WLAN and how it works.
by Timmy Thermal

WLAN, what is it … you ask? Heard of it but not really sure exactly what it entails and how it affects you?

Well, I will try to provide you with a simplified explanation. For starters, it stands for wireless LAN (local area network). In simple terms, it allows a mobile user to connect through a wireless (radio) connection to a LAN through APs (access points) or the Cloud within a limited geographic area, such as an office building, shopping center or manufacturing facility.

There are 3 different types of APs:

  • Autonomous APs – that require individual management which can be expensive and time-consuming
  • Centralized-based APs– that are managed by a centralized controller, which is cost-effective but can be prone to congestion and failures/li>
  • Intelligent APs – which are independent as they have a built-in controller that monitors its distributed network, which operates at a lower cost and higher service, scalability, security and redundancy/li>

As well, there is the option of the utilizing the Cloud. This means storing and accessing data from remote servers hosted on the Internet instead of from servers and computers on-site within your facility. There are quite a few benefits and advantages to doing so, but they also come with concerns and reservations. Below is a short summary of both sides:what is wlan


  • Lower expenditures
  • Optimize IT resources and simplify infrastructure
  • Faster provisioning and deployment of devices, applications and services
  • Ability of localize data and applications closer to customer base by leveraging the increasing number of geographic diverse data centers
  • Offer flexibility to scale on demand
  • Increased metrics and data collection capabilities, allowing for larger scale analytical capabilities and further consolidation


  • Potential data security and compliance risks
  • Level of control and reliability
  • Integration issues and real-time accessibility
  • Apprehension and reluctancy to adopt due to perception as complex and the unknown
  • Costs and IT resources

As the world continues to become more and more connected and every item and device interacts with each other (ie. the Internet of Things), the demand continually increases for effectively managing WLANs and expanding your existing platform further. Understanding your requirements and which system and platform is right for you is key, as there are many options and products available on the market. Effectively maintaining and expanding WLANS is extremely important for companies within retail, manufacturing, transportation and logistics, to be able to meet and continue to meet the demands of their customers and users, and effectively operate within their systems to provide timely and quality service, communication, asset tracking capabilities and smart management.

For more information on WLANs and how to bring your thermal label printers and mobile barcode scanning computers to the Cloud, and for all your printing and barcoding needs call us at (800) 643-2664 and immediately talk to one of our friendly representatives; or chat us up on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn!

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