What is LAN?


A Local Area Network (LAN) is used to create a network where a limited number of computers are required to communicate with each other. It is just limited to a room or a building itself as computers are connected through cables only.

Today there are any expensive devices used in the organization and so it is not possible to have individual devices for each computer. In such a situation all computers must be connected through LAN so that common device can be used and shared by all. Moreover, communication with computers in LAN is very easy and so it is mainly used in small organizations.

Also read – what is modem?

LAN is mostly used in a place where a limited number of computers are required to communicate or share some common device. There are many places like universities, banks where data is to be stored in the central computer so that complete organization can share data.

How computers are connected in LAN?

There are two options that can help to connect computers in the network which are wired and wireless. Normally computers in LAN are connected using Ethernet cables or router. In the case of wireless LAN radio-frequency is used for sending and receiving data among computers.

In wired LAN 100BASE-T and 1000BASE-T standards is used for connection.

Also read – What are Peripheral Devices of a Computer?

Explain different types of LAN?

LAN can be differentiating don the basis of below-mentioned factors:

  • Topology: The arrangement of devices in different ways is known as topology. There are different topologies like a ring, bus, straight, etc.
  • Protocols: Protocols are a set of rules which will decide how computers connected in LAN can send and receive data. It is possible to have peer-to-peer communication or even client-server architecture which solely depends on the organization.
  • Media: Computers connected in LAN uses cables for sharing device or data. There various option like coaxial wire, fibre optical cable or so on. It is even possible to connected computers in LAN using radio waves.

On the basis of these 3 factors LAN can be differentiated and in all the cases the basic functionality is not affected.

Advantages of LAN

  • Cost of LAN implementation is less as compared to any other network. Moreover, maintenance cost is also less and so when it is just to communicate among a limited number of computer LAN is the best option.
  • The demand for LAN is increasing and so there is some modern connection which can give high-speed communication among computers. Thus transferring of files and be done very quickly.
  • Security is an important concern while connecting computers in a network and so there is some option available which can have secure communication. A network which uses a router for connection will have firewall or protocols that can stop intruders and hackers.
  • It is very easy to manage LAN because it is spread in a small region and limited devices are connected with each other.
  • Sharing of data becomes easy with LAN as all computers are connected with a single server. It will make easy to store and retrieve data from the server.

Cons of LAN

  • It is mainly used for small area network communication.
  • To maintain security within peers there is a need for a special program as accessing data of computers within a network is quite easy.
  • Effect of virus in a single computer can have an adverse effect on all other computers which are connected within the network.

The Bottom Line

So, if looking out to have a network in the small organization for sharing data or devices LAN is the best option. It is very cost effective and easy to set up which makes it first choice when setting a network in a small region. It can even have a positive effect on productivity and thus very helpful for small scale organizations.

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