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A wireless personal area network (WPAN) is a type of personal network that uses wireless communication technologies to communicate and transfer data between the user’s connected devices. It allows an individual to connect all or most of his or her devices together and access the Internet or a local network using any of the native/supported wireless communication techniques.
WPAN is also known as a short wireless distance network.
WPAN works much like a standard personal area network (PAN) except that it uses a wireless communication medium instead of a wired connection. Typically, the devices in WPAN include peripheral and hand-held devices such as PDAs, smart phones and tablet PCs. A WPAN's range depends on the wireless router's capabilities, access point or the device itself, but it is usually restricted to a house or small office. WPAN can be created using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, infrared, Z-wave or any similar wireless technologies. In some cases, one of the Internet enabled/powered devices acts as an access point and provides network and Internet access to other devices.
For example, a laptop can be connected to the Internet wirelessly by creating a Bluetooth WPAN with a cell phone. The General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) Internet connectivity of the cell phone can be shared with the laptop, and all data packets to and from the laptop are sent over the Bluetooth-powered WPAN.