With the explosion of Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) deployment, recent magazine articles have appeared comparing the performance of various vendors’ end products. Propagation of radio frequency signals at the microwave frequencies used in WLAN’s is a complex subject. In order to yield meaningful results, care must be taken to ensure that the conditions under which the comparisons are made correctly reflect the real-world operating environment of a WLAN. The goal of this article is to give the networking professional a practical understanding of indoor WLAN propagation and to present a meaningful method of comparing competing products. A glossary of common WLAN terms is also included.

For more information on 802.11, visit Intersil’s Web site.