What is a VLAN?

Here at ESP Projects our Support Team have exploring lots of different questions they get asked from our customers both new and existing. Today we explore “What is a VLAN?”. The short video below gives you chance to meet Scott Bishop from our support team who is going to explore this topic.

A VLAN, or Virtual Local Area Network, is a technology that allows network administrators to create multiple distinct network segments (virtual networks) within a single physical network infrastructure. Essentially, VLANs enable you to partition a network without requiring additional physical routers or switches. Here’s a breakdown of why VLANs are useful and how they work:


VLANs provide a way to segment a network into smaller, isolated networks. This can improve performance by reducing broadcast traffic, as well as enhance security by limiting who can see what on the network.


By isolating sensitive data or devices into separate VLANs, you can increase the security of your network. For instance, you could place all of the servers that store sensitive information on one VLAN, while keeping regular user devices on another.

Simplified Administration

VLANs can simplify network management by allowing network administrators to move devices or change the network design without needing to change physical connections. This flexibility can reduce the time and effort required for network reconfigurations.

Cost Efficiency

Instead of requiring additional hardware for network segmentation, VLANs use the existing network infrastructure. This can be a cost-effective solution for organizations looking to create multiple networks.

VLANs operate at the Data Link Layer (Layer 2) of the OSI model (this will be a whole other post of it’s own but in brief is outlined below). They are configured through software settings on network switches and routers. Each VLAN is assigned a unique identifier, typically known as a VLAN ID, which is used to tag packets of data as they pass through the network. This tag tells network switches and routers which VLAN the packet belongs to, allowing the device to enforce the appropriate segmentation rules.

For communication between VLANs, a router or a Layer 3 switch that can perform routing functions is required. This setup allows devices on different VLANs to communicate with each other if needed, according to the network policies.

OSI Model:


If you would like to more information on this topic contact us and have a chat. You have just met Scott from our support team in the video above, he would be happy to help you and answer any of your questions.