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What is LAN?
Published  07/10/2011 | Computer Encyclopedia Page 7 | Unrated
What is LAN?
The grand daddy of networking. The Local Area Network. A LAN is a computer network limited to a specific location like a building or an office or even the home. The LAN is the next step up from an Ad Hoc Network. Normally, LANs are created using switches and routers that connect multiple computers in a single location. LANs are usually limited to a small area where the computers are physically connected to the network. Variations of the LAN include WAN—Wide Area Network, MAN—Metropolitan Area Network and Wireless LAN or WLAN. WANs connect multiple LANs together using dedicated leased lines or via VPNs over the Internet. MANs are WANs created to serve a large neighbourhood like a suburb or even an entire city in itself. WLAN is the wireless version of the LAN normally using the WiFi standards of wireless technology. It essentially enables users at the location to share information and resources, like printers etc, with each other. In the earlier days Novell used to be the defacto choice for networking software but these days Windows has more or less taken over the field completely. Most networks these days are Ethernet based as it is relatively easy to deploy and robust enough to give trouble free service. However, with the advent of Wi-Fi technology there is a strong move towards wireless networks or wireless LANs as they are called due to the relative ease of connection and the lack of the need for physical wiring in a location.
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