What is LAN?

LAN is the common name for a local area network. The term “local” means that the network is restricted to a small area such as an office or home, and not across a wide geographic region.

Local Area Network is the most common form of network in small businesses. It’s a network that connects all the devices in one room or one building together so they can share information easily.

Advantages Of LAN

Below are the advantages of using LAN;

Resource sharing

Users can share files, folders and printers between computers on a network using the same protocol.

Fast speed

LANs provide faster network speed than WANs. This is because LANs use a direct connection between the two computers rather than going through a router.

Less bandwidth

LANs do not require a lot of bandwidth and storage space for their data transfer, as compared with WAN connections.

Reliability 

If one computer goes down, you won’t lose work or access to important information; you will just have to re-establish connectivity with the server/server cluster via another link or by using an alternative method

Flexibility

LANs allow for greater flexibility than other types of networks because they can be used for multiple devices at once without having to purchase additional equipment (such as routers and switches). This saves money on initial costs and helps reduce the overall cost of ownership over time by allowing you to reuse existing equipment instead of buying new ones every time you add another device

Low cost

Most local area networks are not expensive to set up, especially if you have a server or two in your office that you can use.

Easy maintenance 

You don’t need to run cables everywhere, which makes maintenance easier.

Disadvantages of LAN

Below are the drawbacks of local area network;

Short Range

Short range is a disadvantage of Local Area Network because the distance between the devices can be as short as 100 feet.

You can overcome this problem by setting up a repeater that connects your two devices via a telephone line. However, this solution is expensive and not always available in small businesses.

Low Security

If someone has access to your local area network, he/she can steal data from all computers connected to it, including yours. This includes personal information such as credit card details and bank account numbers and passwords for email accounts etc., among other things

Slow Data Transfer Rates

The number of users connected at any one time can affect the speed of the network, and this can slow down the overall performance considerably.

Types of Local Area Network

There are two main types of LAN, namely;

1. Wired LAN

A wired network consists of one or more computers connected by cables that use CAT5 or CAT6 cabling, which is more expensive but better than older types of cabling. This type of cable has five pairs of wires inside it that carry information back and forth between devices on the network; four pairs carry data while one pair transmits a signal so devices can communicate with each other.

2. Wireless LAN

Wireless LANs use radio waves to connect computer devices such as laptops, desktops and printers to a network. This type of network requires an antenna to be installed near the computers that connect to it so that they can communicate with each other wirelessly over a distance greater than 100 feet (30 meters).

Summary

Local area networks use technologies such as Ethernet cables and wireless connections to connect computers, printers and other devices to share files, databases and applications. They also provide access to shared resources such as printers, scanners and modems.

The most common form of LAN is an Ethernet network using large cables that run from one computer room to another. Wireless LANs have become popular in recent years because they do not require a physical connection between devices.

Recommended Reading: Types Of Network Topology

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