wireless LAN - Computer Definition
(wireless Local Area Network) A communications network that provides connectivity to wireless devices within a limited geographic area. "Wi-Fi" is the universal standard for wireless networks and is the wireless equivalent of wired Ethernet networks. In the office, Wi-Fi networks are adjuncts to the wired networks. At home, a Wi-Fi network can serve as the only network since all laptops and many printers come with Wi-Fi built in, and Wi-Fi can be added to desktop computers via USB. Wi-Fi is achieved with a wireless base station, called an "access point." Its antennas transmit and receive a radio frequency within a range of 30 to 150 feet through walls and other non-metal barriers. Since all wireless and wired computers are interconnected, they can exchange data with each other for backup and file sharing. For details of the wireless standards, see 802.11. See Wi-Fi hotspot, cellular hotspot, router, LAN switch, wireless broadband and WPAN.