A local area network (LAN) refers to the network which connects computers inside a very limited geographical area, such as colleges, schools, or universities. A LAN is a logical connection between devices that are located at different places. They offer a useful method for sharing resources among end-users. The term LAN was first used in 1982 by Bill Atkinson, who distinguished it as a logical interconnection system, in which multiple links could be established between computers through their location. This network has been very useful for computers because the number of computers on the network does not matter much unlike the Internet, where there are hundreds of millions of IP addresses to be dealt with.
Today, a Local Area Network has emerged as one of the most popular technologies used to connect computers and allowing them to share files and information. There are many advantages to using a Local Area Network, which makes it so popular. To begin with, it lowers the costs for IT services because everyone has access to the same network. Because of the topology, data can be easily sent between computers even if they are on different sides of the network.
In previous networking technology, the Local Area Network has been based on a Wide Area Network (WAN). WAN is a bit more limited than a Local Area Network, which means that it has some computers on a single LAN. Wide Area Networks covers a much larger geographical area and allows computers from every part of the world to connect. Although the process of connection is faster, with Wide Area Networks, data can be easily corrupted and therefore, slower to receive. Another problem with Wide Area Networks is that it has some serious security issues and problems associated with weak links and other types of bad packets.
The most beneficial aspect of a Local Area Network is the ease and speed with which information can be exchanged between devices. Because of the topology of a LAN network, all devices that are part of the Local Area Network are connected through data cables. These cables are made up of optical fibers, coaxial cables, or digital optical cables depending upon the technology used. The advantage of using this method of Local Area Network over a WAN is that it is cheaper and much more efficient because of the cost efficiency of bandwidth.
Although the major advantages and disadvantages of having a Local Area Network have been discussed, it is important to understand how Local Area Networks was designed and how they work so that you can determine if this is a good option for your business or not. One of the main advantages of a Local Area Network is the availability of fast internet services. Because of the topology of a Local Area Network, multiple computers can connect to one router or server and then share files and applications. Although this arrangement can save money for businesses, there are some disadvantages to a Local Area Network such as slow speeds and limited networking resources.
When a Local Area Network is set up, Ethernet cables are laid out from two different routers or servers. One of these routers or servers connects to the primary computer, while the other connects to the secondary computer. The second computer usually performs the functions of either a router or a server. The computers on either side of the connection have their own set of hardware devices that allow them to send and receive data, applications, and email.