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Table of contents
What is VLAN?
Explain Different Types of Ranges in VLAN
Types of VLAN
Ways to Connect Devices
Types of Connections in VLAN
Features of VLAN
Some of the key features of VLANs include:
Logical Network Segmentation
Broadcast Domain Isolation
Enhanced Security
Multi-Tenancy Support
Difference between LAN and VLAN
Advantages of VLAN
Disadvantages of VLAN
Applications of VLAN
Frequently Asked Questions
On a network, how many VLANs can be created?
What is a VLAN boot, and why do we need one?
What is VLAN tagging, and how does it function?
What is the difference between a VLAN and a subnet?
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Virtual LAN (VLAN)

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Ashwin Goyal
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Hello Ninjas, welcome back to another exciting blog. Today we will talk about Virtual LAN (VLAN). The popularity of VLAN has increased to a great extent in the last decade. We often hear about terms like LAN, MAN, and WAN, but VLAN sounds new to many people.

Virtual LAN (VLAN)

After going through this blog carefully, the user will have an explicit knowledge of the concept of VLANs.

What is VLAN?

A virtual local area network, or VLAN for short, is a logical collection of network devices grouped according to specific criteria like department, function, or security needs. Even if devices are placed on different switches, they can communicate with one another as if they are connected to the same external LAN when assigned to a VLAN.

VLANs are used to divide a physical network into smaller logical networks, which can be used to improve network security, performance, and resource utilization. VLANs can divide the broadcast domain, which contributes to its importance to a great extent.

When several devices are connected to a VLAN, they only receive broadcasted messages from each other. They do not accept messages from devices outside the network, which improves network performance and efficiency.  

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Explain Different Types of Ranges in VLAN

The following are the two types of ranges in VLAN.

  • VLAN ID Range: VLAN ID ranges from 1 to 4094. VLAN ID 1 is the default VLAN and is often used as the management VLAN. 
  • VLAN Priority Code Point (PCP) Range: VLAN Priority Code Point (PCP) is a 3-bit field in an 802.1Q VLAN tag that defines the packet's priority level. PCP values range from 0 to 7.

Some facts about VLAN ranges are:

  • The number of VLAN IDs ranges from 1 to 4094.
  • VLAN 1 is typically designated as the default VLAN, while VLANs 1002-1005 are set for Token Ring.
  • Network hardware may limit the number of VLANs that can be configured.
  • VLANs are classified into ranges based on their intended use or function in the network.

    Different categories of VLAN ranges are:
  • VLAN 0 and 4095 are reserved VLANs.
  • VLAN 1 is the default use only VLAN.
  • VLAN 2-1001 allows basic edit operations.
  • VLAN 1002-1005: These VLANs cannot be erased.
  • VLAN 1006-4094: This is the VLAN's extended range.

Types of VLAN

There are five major types of VLAN:

  • Default VLAN: The default VLAN is the VLAN to which all devices on a switch default when not explicitly assigned to a different VLAN. The default VLAN is usually VLAN 1, created automatically on most switches. For security reasons, it is usually best to avoid using VLAN 1 because attackers frequently target it to gain unauthorized network access.
  • Data VLAN: A data VLAN transports user-generated data traffic across a network. Users are typically assigned to a specific VLAN in a data VLAN based on their department or location. It isolates traffic between VLANs and reduces the risk of security breaches. Data VLANs are commonly used in enterprise networks where different departments may require access to specific resources, such as printers or servers.
  • Voice VLAN: A voice VLAN transports voice traffic across a network. To ensure that voice calls are not disrupted by network congestion, voice traffic is prioritized over other types of traffic, such as data. Voice VLANs are commonly used in organizations that make phone calls using Voice over IP (VoIP) technology.
  • Management VLAN: A management VLAN is dedicated to network device management, such as switches, routers, and firewalls. It is a separate network segment for managing and monitoring network devices. It is isolated from other user VLANs to ensure security and performance. Management VLANs are typically used for device configuration, software updates, monitoring and troubleshooting, and security management.


  • Native VLAN: The native VLAN is the default VLAN on a switch, used for untagged traffic that enters or exits the button. When a controller receives an untagged frame, it assigns the frame to the native VLAN by default.
types of vlan

The basic VLAN structure is depicted in the diagram above.

Ways to Connect Devices

Some popular ways to connect devices to a VLAN are:

  • Port-based VLAN: Each port on a VLAN is assigned a specific VLAN. The physical port determines the VLAN membership that a device is connected to on the switch.
  • Tagged VLAN: Each packet on the trunk port is tagged with a VLAN ID, which is used to identify the VLAN to which the package belongs.
  • Protocol-based VLAN: Devices that use the same protocol are assigned to a specific VLAN. Protocol-based VLANs help manage and secure network traffic based on the transmitted data type.
  • MAC-based VLAN: A VLAN creation method in which the switch determines VLAN membership based on the device's MAC address connected to a switch port.

Types of Connections in VLAN

Some common connections are

  • Access link connection: An access link connects computers and printers to a switch port configured with a specific VLAN ID. 
  • Trunk link connection: A trunk link connection transports traffic from multiple VLANs over a single physical link. It is commonly used in large enterprise networks.
  • Hybrid link connection: A hybrid link connection is a connection that combines access and trunk links. Mixed links can carry both untagged and tagged traffic for a single VLAN.
  • Voice VLAN connection: A voice VLAN connection prioritizes voice traffic over other network traffic. A voice VLAN can be configured on a switch port to separate voice traffic from data traffic.

Features of VLAN

Some shared features are:

  • VLANs enable logical network segmentation into smaller, isolated groups.
  • VLANs can improve network performance and security by limiting broadcast traffic and isolating network traffic between different groups of devices.
  • VLANs can be configured in various ways, such as port-based, tagged, protocol-based, and MAC-based VLANs.
  • VLANs can span multiple switches, allowing for more extensive network segmentation.
  • VLANs can be used to implement security policies, such as restricting access between different groups of devices or limiting access to network resources based on user or device identity.

Some of the key features of VLANs include:

Below are some key features of VLANs.

Logical Network Segmentation

  • VLANs provide logical network segmentation within a physical network. 
  • Using VLANs, administrators can logically group devices based on their requirements.
  • Segmentation also improves network performance and security.

Broadcast Domain Isolation

  • Every VLAN is separated and operates at a separate broadcast domain.
  • VLAN reduces unnecessary broadcast traffic and improves network efficiency. 

Enhanced Security

  • VLANs isolate sensitive data and resources within the network and thus enhance network security.
  • No two devices from different VLANs can communicate with each other unless specifically configured, which adds an extra security layer.

Multi-Tenancy Support

  • Many service provider networks use VLANs for multi-tenancy.
  • Every device of tenants is isolated to ensure data privacy and isolation.

Difference between LAN and VLAN



LAN stands for Local Area Network. VLAN stands for Virtual Local Area Network.
LAN was developed in the 1970s. VLAN was developed in 2003.
LAN operates on a single broadcast domain. VLAN operates on multiple broadcast domains.
LAN has high latency. VLAN has low latency.
LAN is very costly compared to VLAN. It is less costly.
LAN uses standard ethernet protocols. VLAN uses standard ISP and VTP protocols.
Devices such as Hubs, routers, and switches are used in LAN. Bridges and Switches are used in VLAN.

Advantages of VLAN

The advantages of VLAN include the following:

  • Reduced network congestion and isolation of network traffic, improved network performance.
  • It improved network security by limiting access to network resources based on user or device identity and restricting access between different groups of devices.
  • Scalability is achieved by allowing network segmentation across multiple switches and logically dividing a network into smaller, isolated groups.
  • VLANs can be created and managed in various ways, including port-based, tagged, protocol-based, and MAC-based VLANs.
  • Network administrators can add, remove, or reconfigure VLANs without physically reconfiguring the network topology, simplifying network management and reducing downtime.

Disadvantages of VLAN

Some disadvantages of VLAN are as follows:

  • VLANs are generally costly due to additional software and hardware costs of multiple configurations.
  • Due to restrictions on the number of devices, VLANs offer limited scalability.
  • The security features of VLAN are always under the constant threat of external attacks.
  • Latency and network congestion can occur in VLANs due to various factors, such as the number of devices, the amount of traffic, and the network hardware used.

Applications of VLAN

The real-time applications of VLAN are as follows:

  • Security:
  • Gaming:
  • Voice and Video Traffic:
  • Data Centre Networks:
  • Video Conferencing:
  • Internet of Things(IoT):

Must Read Stop and Wait Protocol.

Frequently Asked Questions

On a network, how many VLANs can be created?

A network can support up to 4096 VLANs.

What is a VLAN boot, and why do we need one?

A VLAN boot is a network connection that transports traffic for multiple VLANs. It is used to reduce costs and simplify network management.

What is VLAN tagging, and how does it function?

VLAN tagging adds a VLAN identifier to network traffic routed to the appropriate VLAN. It works by appending a tag with the VLAN ID to each packet.

What is the difference between a VLAN and a subnet?

A VLAN is a logical grouping of network devices, while a subnet is a logical grouping of IP addresses.


We hope that through the medium of this article, we made the concepts of Virtual LANs enough for any reader to understand it better. The real-time applications and demands of VLANs are increasing day by day.

You may also refer to the following:

Basic Commands for Networking

Linux Networking

Ad-Hoc Network

You may also refer to our Guided Path on Code Studios to enhance your skill set on DSA and many more. Check out essential interview questions, practice our available mock tests, and more!

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