Wireless LAN (Local Area Network) is composed of one or more devices connected wirelessly to a LAN.
Router ----- Modem ----- ISP ------ Internet
This is a rather simple diagram showing a LAN. When you ask how well it is in comparison I assume you are referring to a standard LAN. A wireless LAN is obviously easier to set up, can be less expensive and can be less of an eyesore. However, a traditional LAN can be faster, and is in preference in a one computer network.
It is not possible to connect to the internet wirelessly without a Wireless LAN.
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Hope this helped. :)
Information gathered studying for the A+ exam.