A Radio LAN (RLAN), or wireless lan (WLAN) is a radio access system used to provide wireless access between computer devices. Originally it is used in an existing Local Area Network (LAN) to give location-indepent wireless access to the resources of a corporate network. Today, a RLAN is also used as a wireless access system to the Internet. This can be an access point at home, to have wireless access to a broadband internet connection. It can also be an access point at a hotspot, such as an airport lounge or a cafe, or a hotzone.

A radio LAN is composed of the following components:

Most wireless LANs operate in the unlicensed 2.4 GHz band using the IEEE 802.11b or 802.11g standard, more commonly known as Wi-Fi. In this band , the radio LANs have to share the spectrum with a lot of other applications. There is also a more exclusive band available for RLANs, ranging from 5150-5350 and 5470 - 5725 MHz. Expectations are that the wireless LANs will gradually migrate to the 5 GHz range.

See also