Alternatively, each group of APs can be connected (by Ethernet) to the building's wireless gateway or switch. All gateways/switches will then be connected to each other by the wired network. The advantage of this topology is that the wireless gateway or switch can control, monitor, and log wireless user access to the campus LAN. Most wireless gateways and switches include mobility features that can also help stations roam from one subnet...
to another without interruption.
For blanket coverage, all participating APs are given the same SSID and treated as part of the same WLAN. Users can often roam freely between APs and reach the same destinations no matter which AP they are currently associated through. Of course, it's also possible to create a number of separate WLANs, where each WLAN has a different SSID and perhaps only allows connections from a certain subset of users. Some APs can support multiple SSIDs, effectively creating multiple logical WLANs from one physical AP. Deciding this is part of network design, and reflects what the network operator is trying to accomplish. For example, a university might create separate SSIDs for the faculty WLAN and the student WLAN, applying different access rules to each of these WLANs.
Dig deeper on Wireless LANs
Related Q&A from Lisa Phifer, Wireless Expert
Are Cisco 1200 access points operated in “thick” or autonomous mode or as a thin AP, a lightweight access point that is controlled by a central ...continue reading
Lisa Phifer explains multiple access point configuration when a device tries to differentiate transmitted signals from each point and explains ...continue reading
Wireless expert, Lisa Phifer explores concurrent connection issues and remedies with a printer requiring a wired connection plugged into a computer ...continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.