Using WLAN devices (select models
With a WLAN device, you can access a wireless local area network, which is composed of other
computers and accessories that are linked by a wireless router or a wireless access point.
The terms wireless router and wireless access point are often used interchangeably.
A large-scale WLAN, such as a corporate or public WLAN, typically uses wireless access points
that can accommodate a large number of computers and accessories and can separate critical
A home or small office WLAN typically uses a wireless router, which allows several wireless and
wired computers to share an Internet connection, a printer, and files, without requiring additional
pieces of hardware or software.
To use the WLAN device in your computer, you must connect to a WLAN infrastructure
(provided through a service provider or a public or corporate network).
Computers with WLAN devices support one or more of the following IEEE industry standards:
802.11b, the first popular standard, supports data rates of up to 11 Mbps and operates at a
frequency of 2.4 GHz.
802.11g supports data rates of up to 54 Mbps and operates at a frequency of 2.4 GHz. An 802.11g
WLAN device is backward compatible with 802.11b devices, so they can operate on the same
802.11a supports data rates of up to 54 Mbps and operates at a frequency of 5 GHz.
802.11n supports data rates of up to 270 Mbps and may operate at 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz, making it
backward compatible with 802.11a, b, and g.
802.11a is not compatible with 802.11b and 802.11g.