A wireless local area network (WLAN) links two or more devices using some wireless distribution method (typically spread-spectrum or OFDM radio), and usually providing a connection through an access point to the wider Internet. This gives users the ability to move around within a local coverage area and still be connected to the network. Most modern WLANs are based on IEEE 802.11 standards, marketed under the Wi-Fi brand name. WLANs were once called LAWNs (for local area wireless network) by the Department of Defense.

Wireless LANs have become popular in the home due to ease of installation, and in commercial complexes offering wireless access to their customers; often for free.