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What is a VLAN and How Does it Work? (Simple Explanation)

If you’ve ever wondered what a VLAN is and how it works, then this blog post is for you. In this post, we’ll give a simple explanation of what a VLAN is and how it can be used to segment network traffic. By the end of this post, you should have a good understanding of how a VLAN works and how it can be used to benefit your network. So let’s get started!

The purpose of a VLAN

A Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN) is a virtual network that can be created and connected within a single physical network, for communications and resource sharing purposes. VLANs are segmented broadcast domains that can span multiple switches and connect multiple devices such as computers, printers, scanners, and servers. The purpose of VLANs is to break up larger LANs into smaller, more manageable pieces that are easier to secure from networking attacks. By creating separate VLANs for different departments or user groups in an organization, data flows between segments can be tightly restricted and secure. This increases the level of security on the entire network while also allowing users to selectively share information with certain parts of the network.

How a VLAN works

A VLAN (Virtual Local Area Network) is a network structure that allows businesses to logically segment their network and resources into multiple sub-networks, each with its own security rules. When devices come together on the same physical network, they can be assigned to different virtual networks based on their unique needs and protocols. For example, enterprise wireless networks are typically segmented by an administrator into separate VLANs for guest access, employee access, or IoT/IoT2 access. Each VLAN then set of rules and restrictions that keep the traffic private between two users in their respective networks. This helps maximize bandwidth use and increase security by preventing data from crossing between different users or devices in those segments.

Examples of when you would use a VLAN

A Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN) can be used in many different ways to keep networks segregated. For example, a company might set up multiple VLANs within its network to secure sensitive information or maintain privacy. Specifically, one VLAN could be designated for administrative purposes, another to separate employee systems from customer systems, and yet another for internal communication between departments. It can also be used in educational settings to create computing isolation for students or to implement parental controls with the use of a trusted VLAN. As technology advances so does our need for more secure networks and this is where VLANs make their mark – allowing administrators to configure virtual LANs that are kept physically separate but still function as one unified switch.

The benefits of using a VLAN

A virtual LAN, or VLAN, is an incredibly useful networking tool that can make large networks or small businesses much more manageable. By segmenting a physical network into smaller partitions, the capacity to manage and access different segments is greatly increased. Security is heightened as well, as data passing between two hosts on the same VLAN will not be visible to hosts in other VLANs. Furthermore, network administrators are able to make configuration changes without having to impact the entire network, allowing for more efficient operation and greater flexibility. Essentially, implementing a VLAN brings significant advantages in terms of scalability and security as well as easier administration of networks of all sizes.


Now that you understand what a VLAN is, how it works, and some of the benefits of using one, you can start to set up your own home network. By creating a VLAN, you can keep your home network secure and running smoothly.

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