What Is The Local Area Network (LAN)?

2021-04-09
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Summary: We have covered WAN (Wide Area Network) in detail before. So today, this article will give a full introduction to LAN (Local Area Network).

Definition

The LAN, referring to the local area network, is a computer network that interconnects computers in a limited area, such as a laboratory, home, school, university campus, or office building.

LAN is widely used for sharing resources, games, printers, and other applications. The simplest type of LAN network is connecting the computer or printer to someone’s home or office. Typically, the LAN is used as a type of transmission medium.

Types

Generally speaking, there are two types of LAN: client/server LAN and peer-to-peer LAN.

Client/Server LAN

It consists of multiple devices (clients) connected to the central server. Servers manage file storage, network traffic, device access, and application access. The client can be any connected device that accesses or runs the Internet or the application. The client connects to the server via cable or wireless connection.

Peer-to-Peer LAN

The peer-to-peer LAN does not have a central server and can’t handle heavy workloads as client/server LAN. So peer-to-peer LANs are usually smaller. On a peer-to-peer LAN, each device is shared equally across network functions. Devices share data and resources over wired or wireless connections to switches or routers. Most home networks are peer-to-peer LAN.

Application

  • LAN helps to share resources like scanners and sprinters.
  • LAN enables software to be stored on the server and is available to all network users.
  • LAN can assign one of the computers within a network as a service to manage all other computers.
  • It can help users connect all workstations in a building to communicate on-site without the need for Internet access.
  • It helps users to connect all the workstations in a building to let them communicate with each other locally without the need for internet access.
  • Software developers can use the LAN network to share development and testing tools in an office or a factory with the networking system’s client-server model.

Advantages & Disadvantages

Advantages

  • LAN provides facilities for sharing a single Internet connection among all LAN users.
  • It makes it easy to transfer data and messages over networked computers.
  • It allows all network users’ data to be stored on a single hard drive on the server computer.
  • It allows data to be managed in one place, making it easier and more secure to manage data.
  • Instead of purchasing licensed software for each client on the network, users can use the same software.
  • LAN can be used for sharing computer resources such as DVD-ROM, hard drives, and printers, significantly reducing hardware purchase costs.

Disadvantages

  • LAN does not provide good privacy because the LAN administrators can check each LAN user’s data files.
  • The initial cost of installing LAN is relatively high, though LAN networks can help you save costs on shared computing resources.
  • Unauthorized users can access the company’s critical data if LAN administrators cannot protect the centralized data repository.
  • LAN requires continuous LAN administration because of issues related to software settings and hardware failures.

Final Words!

This article fully introduces the Local Area Network – LAN, including its definition, types, application, and advantages and disadvantages. Keep reading this post, and you will have a better understanding of LAN.

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