Friday, 17 June 2016

What is Local Area Network?

What is Local Area Network?


A local area network or LAN refers to a computer network. This network spans a small geographical area like a school, office building, hospital, home or a group of buildings. 


What is a LAN Composed of?


LAN consists of inter-connected workstations and personal computers. These group of computers and other devices such as scanners, printers, data storage devices, etc. are all linked together to a server.


This server and its connected devices are all located within a particular geographical area. With this connection, computers and other devices can share information and resources like a printer.

How Many Computers and Devices are Connected to a LAN?


A LAN can be made up of 2 to 3 computers in a tiny establishment or a computer and other hand-held devices such as smartphones, tablets, etc. It can also consists of hundreds of computers connected together in case of a large organization or office building. 

Which Are the Commonly Used LAN Technologies?


The two most commonly used LAN technologies includes Wi-Fi and Ethernet. Other technologies included the Fiber Distribution Data Interface, ARCNET, Token Ring, etc. However, Wi-Fi and Ethernet are now the most preferred technologies today. This is because they provide better speeds to a LAN connection.  

How Does a LAN Function?


A LAN consists of computers and servers that are connected through cables and wires. In some cases, wireless access to a wired network is possible with the help of wireless access points (WAPs). With the help of WAP, one can connect hundreds or more computers wirelessly to a network. 

However, cable connections remain faster than the wireless connections. Thus, stationary workstations are usually connected with a cable. However, when it comes to cost, a wirelessly connected workstation will be easier as well as affordable compared to a wired one.

Thus, LAN or Local Area Network is very useful in connecting a large number of devices together and simultaneous exchange of information and data.

References:


1.http://searchnetworking.techtarget.com/definition/local-area-network-LAN
2.http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/L/local_area_network_LAN.html
3.https://www.techopedia.com/definition/5526/local-area-network-lan
4.http://fcit.usf.edu/network/chap1/chap1.htm

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