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.
- 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.
- It allows the sharing of costly resources like printers, scanners among all of the computers. Thus, it reduces cost in hardware purchases.
- It also allows sharing of software, instead of purchasing the separately licensed software for each client in a network.
- Data is stored on the server computer, which makes it easier to manage data and makes the data more secure, as it is stored at only one place.
- Communication among the connected computers is easy and cheap as data and messages can easily be shared with the other computers connected across the network.
- Local Area Network also provides the facility to share a single internet connection among all the LAN users.
- 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.