Friday, August 20, 2010

Local Area Network (LAN)

A local area network (LAN) supplies networking capability to a group of computers in close proximity to each other such as in an office building, a school, or a home. A LAN is useful for sharing resources like files, printers, games or other applications. A LAN in turn often connects to other LANs, and to the Internet or other WAN.

Most local area networks are built with relatively inexpensive hardware such as Ethernet cables, network adapters, and hubs. Wireless LAN and other more advanced LAN hardware options also exist.

A local area network (LAN) is a computer network covering a small physical area, like a home, office, or small group of buildings, such as a school, or an airport. The defining characteristics of LANs, in contrast to wide-area networks (WANs), include their usually higher data-transfer rates, smaller geographic place, and lack of a need for leased telecommunication lines.

ARCNET, Token Ring and many other technologies have been used in the past, and may be used in the future, but Ethernet over unshielded twisted pair cabling, and Wi-Fi are the two most common technologies currently in use.

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