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Difference Between WLAN and WWAN

WLAN vs WWAN

WWAN and WLAN are two forms of wireless networks that provide connectivity on the go. As long as you are within range, you can connect to the network and access services like internet connection, email, file storage, and more. The main difference between WLAN and WWAN is their coverage. WLAN stands for Wireless Local Area Network, and it typically covers a small area like a home or an office. On the other hand, Wireless Wide Area Network or WAN covers a much larger area that is outside the scope of a WLAN. It can range from a block to an entire town.

Because of the difference in coverage, WWAN cannot use the same technologies that WLAN does. WLAN technologies like WiFi have a much shorter range and you would need a lot of nodes to cover a large area. Instead, WWAN adopts technologies from mobile telecommunications networks that are already suited for covering large areas. Also, because WWAN covers a very large and typically public area, implementing security protocols is a must. It is also possible to implement security protocols like WPA and WEP in WLAN, but it is not always guaranteed. Some people still have unsecured networks or use the vulnerable WEP encryption. For most people though, unsecured networks are fine as only a limited few can receive the signal.

In terms of performance, WLAN has a significant edge over WWAN. Because of the smaller area it covers and the fewer clients it serves, WLAN can focus more on optimizing speed and performance. This is not related to the internet connection, which is typically much lower than WWAN or WLAN speeds. WLAN is better suited for hosting and moving files from one device to another and similar applications. One feature implemented inside WLANs is DLNA; a standard for interconnecting devices in a LAN to facilitate the storage and playback of many types of media. This is not possible with WWAN because of its much lower network speeds.

In the end, WLAN and WWAN is a trade-off between performance and coverage. Some people take advantage of both. Using WLAN when they are at home or in the office, then resorting to WWAN when they are outside.

Summary:

  1. WWAN covers a much larger area than WLAN
  2. WWAN uses telecom networks while WLAN does not
  3. WWAN is inherently secure while WLAN may not be
  4. WLAN is much faster than WWAN
  5. WLAN has DLNA while WWAN does not

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1 Comment

  1. Unique site of useful information.

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