Local Area Network

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A local area network (LAN) is a group of computers in a small area that are interconnected through cables or wireless connections. The network could have a few computers or hundreds of systems located in a particular area. LANs may be connected to larger networks like metropolitan area networks (MANs) and wide area networks (WANs). A LAN can be used to link computers, printers, file servers, and other resources. Servers enable users to share resources over a LAN.

A local area network is divided into logical groups called subnets. The components of a LAN include physical media, protocols, and software. Networks also include repeaters, bridges, and routers. A local area network can be configured using programs like Internet Connection Sharing (ICS). The level of management required to run a LAN depends on the type, configuration, and the number of devices involved.

The cost a local area network will vary based on your network's size and security requirements.


A LAN can be set up, expanded, and altered with little difficulty. LANs can transmit data at high speeds in order to facilitate file sharing. LANs help you save time, money, and resources by sharing hardware. Software licenses tend to cost less for computer networks. Backups are streamlined and more reliable because since all data is stored in one physical location.

How It Works

LANs can be designed in a variety of ways, depending on your resource and security needs. You can configure a wireless LAN or a LAN that is connected by wires. Typically, wired LANs provide enhanced options for security to keep users and information safe from hackers.

A star network features a connection plan where stations are connected to a single, individual computer that controls the access of all the systems in the network. With a ring topology, each computer is connected to another system and all nodes are connected in circular form.

Each terminal on the LAN is connected with other terminals in different shapes like a straight line, bus, or ring. These terminals enable easy access to information and fast data transfer across the network.

The LAN's wiring creates physical connection between systems and peripherals. The wiring is usually done using coaxial cables, which provide great bandwidth and transmission speeds up to 20 Mbps. Optical fiber cables and radio waves are also used for data transmission across local area networks.


CTS Telecommunications and Sun Stream Networks offer LAN connections and networking services.

Last Updated: December 26, 2011
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