Local Area Network (LAN) is a collection of computers and other devices that are connected together over a network and are all in the same location within a building like an office or home.
What is LAN(Local Area Network)?
LAN stands for Local-area Network. It is a computer network that covers a relatively small area such as within a building or campus of up to a few kilometers in size. LANs are generally used to connect personal computers and workstations in company offices to share common resources, like printers, and exchange information. A number of experimental and early commercial LAN technologies were developed in the 1970s. Cambridge Ring was developed at Cambridge University in 1974. Ethernet was developed at Xerox PARC between 1973 and 1974. ARCNET was developed by Datapoint Corporation in 1976 and announced in 1977.
How Do LANs Work?
A router serves as the hub where the majority of LANs connect to the Internet. Home LANs often utilise a single router, but bigger LANs may also use network switches to transmit packets more effectively.
LANs nearly always connect devices to the network via Ethernet, WiFi, or both of these technologies. Ethernet is a physical network connection protocol that calls for Ethernet cables. WiFi is a protocol for using radio waves to connect to a network.
Servers, desktop computers, laptops, printers, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and even game consoles can connect to LANs. LANs are frequently used in offices to give internal staff members shared access to servers or printers that are linked to the network.
Types of LAN
There are mainly two types of LANs exist.
- Client/Server LANs: Multiple devices (the clients) are connected to a main server in a client/server LAN. The server controls network traffic, device access, application access, and file storage. Any connected device that runs apps or accesses the Internet qualifies as a client. Clients can use wired or wireless connections to connect to the server.
- Peer-to-Peer LANs: Peer-to-peer LANs are often smaller because they lack a central server and can’t support huge workloads like client/server LANs can. Every device on a peer-to-peer LAN contributes equally to the network’s operation. Through wired or wireless connections to a switch or router, the devices share data and resources. Peer-to-peer networks are the norm in homes.
What is a Virtual LAN?
The same physical network can have its traffic divided into two networks using virtual LANs, or VLANs. Imagine establishing two independent LANs in the same room, each with its own router and Internet connection. Similar to that, but with only one router and one Internet connection required, VLANs divide networks virtually rather than physically.
VLANs are beneficial for network management, particularly in very large LANs. Administrators may much more simply control the network by segmenting it. (Subnets, another method of segmenting networks for increased efficiency, differ greatly from VLANs.)
What are the Benefits of a LAN?
- Privacy: LAN is a private network, thus no outside regulatory body controls it, giving it a privacy.
- High Speed: LAN offers a much higher speed(around 100 mbps) and data transfer rate comparatively to WAN.
- Supports different transmission mediums: LAN support a variety of communications transmission medium such as an Ethernet cable (thin cable, thick cable, and twisted pair), fiber and wireless transmission.
- Inexpensive and Simple: A LAN usually has low cost, installation, expansion and maintenance and LAN installation is relatively easy to use, good scalability.
What are the Drawback of LAN?
- The initial setup costs of installing Local Area Networks is high because there is special software required to make a server.
- Communication devices like an ethernet cable, switches, hubs, routers, cables are costly.
- LAN administrator can see and check personal data files as well as Internet history of each and every LAN user. Hence, the privacy of the users are violated
- LANs are restricted in size and cover only a limited area
- Since all the data is stored in a single server computer, if it can be accessed by an unauthorized user, can cause a serious data security threat.
FAQs on LAN(Local Area Network)
Q.1: What are the uses of LAN?
The computer hardware in a confined space, like a home or workplace, is connected via a local-area network (LAN). LANs typically connect computers to one another and to a range of peripheral devices, such printers, using cable connections.
Q.2: Which device is most commonly used in LANs, and why?
A single router is typically used in residential LANs to build the network and control all of the connected devices. The router serves as a hub for connections, allowing computers, tablets, and cellphones to speak with one another.
Q.3: What is LAN Security?
A network must be secured after it has been set up. The L2/L3 switches’ and any existing routers’ security settings can be used to accomplish this. Network security can also be improved by utilising hardware-based security measures like full disc encryption, fingerprint recognition, and security tokens. Additional security packages can be downloaded locally or purchased via a software as a service (SaaS) delivery mechanism to defend and maintain the network perimeter.
Q.4: What is LAN Topology? List 5 Popular LAN Topologies?
Network topologies figure how devices in a LAN are connected, as well as how data is traversed from one node to another. These are five popular topologies as follow:
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