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  • Difficulty Level : Basic
  • Last Updated : 12 Apr, 2020

Virtual Local Area Network, commonly abbreviated as VLAN, is used to provide structure to the increasing number of networks in today’s world. Through this, the network manager can sub-divide a LAN in a logical manner into different broadcast domains.

The IEEE 802.1D-2004 standard played a part in the evolution of Ethernet LANs to VLANs to keep up with the increasing transmission demands. This was made possible through the concept of bridging which divides a single physical LAN into two or more VLANs. Before this, it was impossible to have two systems have the same IP address on the same physical network.

Characteristics of VLAN :

  • Each VLAN acts as a separate LAN. This reduces the congestion by sharing the traffic between the VLANs.
  • VLANs can span multiple switches.
  • VLANs make it easier to relocate terminals.

Advantages of VLAN :

  • VLANs use bandwidth with more efficiency compared to LANs.
  • As they are confined to their respective broadcast domains, they reduce traffic on a network to a great extent.
  • Each group is assigned a different broadcast domain hence there is added security to prevent confidential
    information from being seen by other groups.
  • It reduces the need for expensive routers hence they reduce the overall cost.

Disadvantages of VLAN :

  • Managing larger networks can be pretty complex.
  • When you need to add a new VLAN, you need to configure all the switches to accommodate it.
  • VLAN’s interoperability can be complex as well.
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