Types of Wireless Networks and Their Advantages and Disadvantages


Types of Wireless Networks and Their Advantages and Disadvantages – In this article, we will discuss the types of wireless networks and find out their advantages and disadvantages. Based on the physical size of the area that can be covered, wireless networks are divided into several categories viz.

Types of Wireless Networks and Their Advantages and Disadvantages
Types of Wireless Networks and Their Advantages and Disadvantages

Types of Wireless Networks and Their Advantages and Disadvantages 2023

  • Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN)
  • Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN)
  • Wireless Metropolitan Area Network (WMAN)
  • Wireless Wide Area Network (WWAN)

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Logically, these four types of wireless networks are the same as wired networks, the difference is the media used. In basic concept, wireless layering is the same as wired networking, only the communication and mediation methods are different.

Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN)

Understanding WPAN

A personal network is a wireless network that has a very narrow coverage area, which is about 20 m. This network can only be used as a personal network in a small space because the distance is so small. The performance of the wireless PAN network is in the medium category, where the data rate reaches 2 Mbps.

The use of personal wireless networks has been quite widespread, especially in mobile devices such as PDAs, laptops, and cellular phones.

Some of the most common forms of using small-area networks are synchronization activities between gadgets and PCs or laptops. Some of these mobile devices can connect to printers or other multimedia equipment, practically replacing communication using wired media.

The technology used in wireless PAN includes the use of infrared technology and Bluetooth radiofrequency.

WPAN Technology Standard

The IEEE 802.15 standard has focused on developing personal wireless networks in coordination with other standards, such as the 802.11 standards in the wider network. Some of these standards include:

  • 802.15.1 (Group Task 1)
  • 802.15.2 (Group Task 2)
  • 802.15.3 (Group Task 3)
  • 802.15.4 (Group Task 4)

Advantages of WPAN

  • Low power consumption
  • High mobility (movement). WPAN allows users to access information wherever they are as long as it is still within the range of the WPAN area.
  • Ease and speed of installation. WPAN installation is easy because and fast because it can be done without having to pull and install cables.
  • Flexible. WPAN technology makes it possible to build networks where cables cannot be used or are not possible to use.
  • The cost is cheaper, although the initial installation cost of WPAN is more expensive than conventional PAN the maintenance cost is cheaper.
  • Scalable. WPAN can use various network topologies as needed.

Disadvantages of WPAN

  • The range is short, only about ±20 m.
  • Low data rate

Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN)

WLAN Definition

A wireless Local Area Network (Wireless LAN) is a computer network that allows users to connect without using a network cable. A laptop or gadget equipped with a wireless LAN card can move around the building carrying a computer and stay connected to their network without the need to connect cables.

A Wireless LAN network is very effective to use in an area or defang. With reliable performance and security, wireless LAN network developers are becoming a new trend for network developers to replace wired networks or full wired networks.

Technologies commonly used in wireless LANs include Wi-FI or Hotspots,

WLAN Technology Standard

In 1980 the IEEE created a section that deals with LAN and MAN standardization. This section is then referred to as 802. The number 80 indicates the year and the number 2 indicates the month the working group was formed. The standardization is as follows.

  • IEEE 802.11
  • IEEE 802.11b
  • IEEE 802.11g

Advantages of WLAN

  • High Mobility and Productivity, WLAN allows clients to access information in real-time as long as it is still within range of the WLAN, thereby increasing service quality and productivity. Users can work wherever they are, as long as the location is included in the  WLAN coverage area.
  • Ease and speed of installation, because the infrastructure does not require cables, installation is very easy and fast, without the need to pull or install cables on walls or floors.
  • Flexible, with WLAN technology it is possible to build networks in areas that are impossible or difficult to reach by cable, for example in big cities, where cable infrastructure is not available.
  • Lowering the cost of ownership, with one  access point  can cover the entire area and low maintenance costs (only covers cell stations, not as in a cable network that includes all cables)

Disadvantages of WLAN

  • Expensive equipment costs  (this weakness can be eliminated by developing and producing electronic component technology so that it can reduce network costs),
  • Large delays, radio propagation problems such as obstruction, reflection, and many sources of interference (this weakness can be overcome by modulation techniques, antenna  diversity techniques, spread spectrum techniques, etc.),
  • Network capacity faces spectrum limitations  (frequency bands cannot be widened but can be utilized efficiently with the help of various techniques such as spread spectrum / DS-CDMA) and data security (confidentiality) is not guaranteed (this weakness can be overcome, for example by spread spectrum techniques  ).

Wireless Metropolitan Area Network (WMAN)

Definition of WMAN

A Wireless Metropolitan Area Network is another type of wireless network that covers an area of ​​about 31 miles or 50 kilometers. This network allows multiple locations or buildings to stay connected within any metropolitan area.

This network is also used to connect various campuses of a single university, various hospital blocks, and several office buildings. These networks rely on strong radio waves or infrared light to transmit data.

Due to their strong wireless connectivity, WMANs are often used as backups for wired networks. Typically, a WMAN sits between a WWAN and a WLAN.

In general, these networks are set up in such a way as to provide connections between different LAN points. Therefore, the main purpose of a WMAN is to provide a wireless connection between two independent and fully functional LAN nodes. An example of WMAN technology is WiMAX.

WMAN Technology Standard

The IEEE has created a technology standard specifically designed for Metropolitan Area Network wireless networks. The standardization is as follows.

  • IEEE 802.16d

Advantages of WMAN

  1. The head office server can function as the data center of the branch office.
  2. Information can be disseminated more widely, quickly, and meaningfully.
  3. Real-Time Transactions (data on the central server is updated at the same time, for example, Bank ATMs for national areas).
  4. Communication between offices can use e-mail, chat, and Video Conference (ViCon)

Weaknesses of WMAN

  1. High operating costs.
  2. Installing the infrastructure is not easy.
  3. If a personal computer is used as a terminal, file transfer (file transfer software) allows the user to retrieve files from the host or send data to the host.
  4. Complicated if there is network trouble (network troubleshooting).

Wireless Wide Area Network (WWAN)

Definition of WWAN

Wireless Wide Area Network is a network that covers a wider area than a wireless LAN. Coverage generally includes national wireless network infrastructure provided by the wireless service carrier (for a monthly usage fee, similar to a cell phone subscription).

If a wireless LAN is used so that network users can move in a small area, then a wireless WAN is used to provide a mobile internet connection with a wider coverage area for business travelers or field technicians.

Wireless WAN allows users to access the internet, e-mail, applications, and company information even if they are far from the office. Wireless WAN uses cellular network data transmission. Examples of cellular systems used are CDMA, GSM, GPRS, EDGE, 3G, 4G, and HSDPA.

A portable computer with a wireless WAN modem connects to a standard base on a wireless network to radio waves. The radio tower then carries the signal to the Mobile Switching Center, where the data is passed to the appropriate network. Connection to the internet is done using a service provider connection.

WWAN Technology Standard

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is the agency that regulates the use of wireless WAN devices. In wireless WAN marketing, it now accepts several operating standards and requirements from the United States that were created and maintained by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The standardization is as follows.

  • IEEE 802.20
  • IEEE 802.16e

Advantages of WAN

  • Share information/files over a larger area.
  • Everyone on this network can use the same data.
  • Having a large/wide network system so that it can reach countries, continents, and even the whole world.
  • If you are connected to an internet network, file transfers in places that are far away can be done quickly.
  • Can share resources with connected workstations.

Disadvantages of WAN

  • High operating costs.
  • In terms of setting up a WAN network, it is more difficult and complicated, and the tools needed are also very expensive.
  • Requires a good Firewall to restrict outside users from entering and can interfere with this network.
  • Vulnerable to hackers or other external threats.


There are types of wireless networks. This wireless communication is a testament to the technological revolution in networking. Currently, there are only a few types of wireless networks. But along with the times, this communication technology will be born again with new media to meet the needs of fast consumer data speeds.

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Akshara Singh
I'm Akshara Singh, from Tamil Nadu (India) I have been Running this Blog since 2016 with my full effort to Help users in the Tech field and clear doubt, and provide advanced guides in simple methods.


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