A virtual local area network (VLAN) is a broadcast domain that can span across wired or wireless LAN segments. Each VLAN is a separate logical network. Several VLANs can coexist within any given network, logically segmenting traffic by organization or function. In this way, all systems used by a given organization can be interconnected independent of physical location. This has the benefit of limiting the broadcast domain and increasing security. VLANs can be configured in software, which enhances their flexibility. VLANs operate at the data link layer (OSI Layer 2), however, they are often configured to map directly to an IP network, or subnet, at the network layer (OSI Layer 3). You can create up to 512 VLANs.
IEEE 802.1Q is the predominant protocol used to tag traffic with VLAN identifiers. VLAN1 is called the default or native VLAN. It cannot be deleted, and all traffic on it is untagged. A trunk port is a network connection that aggregates multiple VLANs or tags, and is typically used between two switches or between a switch and a router. VLAN membership can be portbased, MAC-based, protocol-based, or authentication-based when used in conjunction with the 802.1x protocol. Used in conjunction with multiple ESSIDs, VLANs support multiple wireless networks on a single Access Point using either a one-to-one mapping of ESSID to VLAN, or mapping multiple ESSIDs to one VLAN. By assigning a security profile to a VLAN, the security requirements can be fine-tuned based on the use of the VLAN, providing wire-like security or better on a wireless network.
VLAN assignment is done for RADIUS-based MAC filtering and authentication. VLAN assignment is not done in Captive Portal Authentication by any of the returned attributes. Because VLANs rely on a remote switch that must be configured to support trunking, also refer to the Fortinet Wi-Fi Technology Note WF107, “VLAN Configuration and Deployment.” This document contains the recommended configuration for switches as well as a comprehensive description of VLAN configuration and deployment.
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