WLAN vs LAN: Difference and Comparison

The traffic on the internet is increasing day by day. Internet providers are always looking for new, advanced, faster, secure, and easy-to-access options for their customers so that their experience is fruitful with the services.

Every device has a different structure and composition, equipped with various technologies. The gadgets include laptops, tablets, mobile phones, smartwatches, etc.

The two of the most common networks used nowadays are LAN (Local Area Network) and WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network). 

Key Takeaways

  1. WLAN stands for wireless local area network and uses radio waves to connect devices, while LAN stands for local area network and uses cables or wires.
  2. WLAN provides mobility and flexibility as devices can connect wirelessly, while LAN provides faster and more reliable data transfer speeds.
  3. WLAN is more suitable for home and small office networks, while LAN is more suitable for larger networks like enterprises or organizations.


WLAN stands for Wireless Local Area Network, a type of wireless network that allows devices to communicate without the need for wires or cables. LAN stands for Local Area Network, a computer network connecting devices in a limited geographic area like a building or campus.


WLAN stands for Wireless Local Area Network. This network type enables the transfer of data with the help of wireless transmitters and receivers. This does not use the typical data transfer done using the cables.

WLANs are used in areas that require a large number of devices to connect to the internet at the same time.

LAN stands for Local Area Network. It can be described as a collection of network devices in a specific location, and all of them are connected via switches or routers, which helps in the transmission of data. Each network device uses a cable to connect itself to the switch or router.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonWLANLAN
Stands forWireless Local Area NetworkLocal Area Network
Connection typeWireless technologiesIncludes both wired and wireless technologies.
Cost and securityExpensive to install and are less secure.Less expensive and more secure.
CoverageLarge regions such as offices, buildings, stations, etc.Large areas such as buildings.
PerformanceHigh performance; performance affected by bad weather.Good performance and it isn’t affected by the weather.
InterferenceIt can be interfered with easily.It cannot be interfered with easily.
ExamplesDesktops, laptops, tablets, and mobiles connected on Wi-Fi or hotspots networks.Desktop and laptop connected to LAN in a building or an office.

What is WLAN?

WLAN stands for “wireless local area network.” Many gadgets come pre-installed with Wi-Fi, where the users can connect to the internet wirelessly when in the range of a router.

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WLAN connections require both an infrastructure mode and an access point. They can be concurrently used by any device and all the devices when in the range of the router.

WLANs with signal interruptions have decreased speed and link frequency. The installation of WLANs is costly, but it is relatively easy to use. Nowadays, all devices are Wi-Fi-ready, so the hardware system is all you need to establish the connection.

WLAN is used in areas where a large no of devices have to be connected to network providers for the internet, but not necessarily at the same time. WLAN is also used at home to connect laptops and mobile phones.

WLAN has better performance and rarely encounters interference if properly mounted. However, the distance between the device using the internet and the router directly impacts the connection’s speed and power.

WLAN provides better protection and is one of the major advantages of this system. The network system is more stable as it has a built-in firewall that allows better protection of the network from any link instability that can be caused by interference.


What is LAN?

LAN internet connection makes use of Ethernet cables and adapters (mostly used in laptops and desktops). A hub or router is also required apart from these elements. The broadband routers help in establishing the internet connection making the process simple and giving good performance results.

The establishment of a LAN requires a central connection, a router and a network of cables to connect to all the computers. Many of the computers in the network are linked by switches.

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The switches and routers are installed using the network settings. LAN is installed in locations where a large number of computers have to be connected to the internet simultaneously, such as in offices or other buildings.

The network is wired, and a standard internet protocol is set for the proper operation of the network. The laptops have an in-built LAN port, so one only needs to set up a LAN connection on the laptop to access a service provider.

LAN services have reasonable prices, which everyone can afford, making it a cost-effective and convenient way to connect to the internet. 


Main Differences Between WLAN and LAN

  1. WLAN is a wireless network, while LAN is a wired network.
  2. WLAN is used in places where internet devices are movable, while LAN is preferred in areas where devices are not easy to move, such as in cases of desktops.
  3. WLAN is more convenient for the users as it provides many befits than LAN.
  4. WLAN is much more secure and faster than LAN.
  5. WLAN gives a speed of 53mbps, while LAN gives an internet speed of up to 100mbps.
  6. WLAN, when in a gigabit network, gives an internet speed of 1000mbps, while the LAN in such a network can give a speed of up to 1Gbps.
  7. WLAN is suited for the transfer of small files, while LAN has an advantage in the transfer of large files due to its speed.  
Difference Between WLAN and LAN
  1. https://puso.pw/792.pdf

Last Updated : 14 October, 2023

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21 thoughts on “WLAN vs LAN: Difference and Comparison”

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  4. While the comparison between WLAN and LAN is well-presented, the article could delve a bit further into some nuanced differences and practical applications of these network types.

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