What is LAN? And Other Local Area Networks Q&As

By: Marco
May 18, 2017

The majority of today's network connectivity conversations focus on spreading out. Many organizations with remote locations and remote employees will be familiar with WAN (wide-area network) and the ability it gives them to stay connected across geographical hurdles. LAN is different. 

What is LAN? 

What is LAN? And Other Local Area Network Q&AsLAN, or local area network, is a computer network that covers a small area. LAN is a type of connectivity that connects computers and workstations that rely on a group of resources, like files and applications, and devices, like printers or faxes. It's typically seen in offices, homes and colleges. 

You'll most often see LAN restricted to a single building or a single room, but it's not unheard of to have a group of buildings covered under a single LAN. A local area network can function as a stand-alone network. Additionally, one LAN can be connected via telephone lines and radio waves to other LANs. 

What Type of Connections Enable LAN?

The primary ways LAN connections are enabled is through Ethernet and Wi-Fi. In this scenario, Ethernet allows computers to communicate with each other, whereas Wi-Fi connects computers to the LAN using radio waves.

What Number of Users is Right for LAN?

While it's touted as a solution for small businesses and organizations, a local area network is able to serve as few as two or three users just as well as it's able to connect several hundred users in a larger office. Whether or not LAN is your ideal option has more to do with proximity than it does with the number of users. 

How Does LAN Reduce Costs? 

When it fits how a business functions, LAN can be a wise investment. The ability for all devices to connect to the same software, files and hardware reduces the cost of having multiple devices and multiple software licenses. For instance, instead of having a personal printer for each employee, everyone can connect their devices to a single printer, allowing everyone to use the single device. 

What Areas of Business Does LAN Improve? 

Since all devices are connected via local area network, communication becomes faster. The level of sharing that's enabled through LAN means files and data don't have to go through the Internet before being accessed by others. Additionally, resource sharing remains under centralized administrative control. This causes things like making changes, troubleshooting and performing maintenance easier. 

Is LAN Right for My Business? 

If you found yourself identifying with the benefits and explanations listed above, your business might be a good fit for LAN. To discuss LAN and the specific ways it could elevate or improve your business processes, connect with a technology advisor.

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Topics: Business IT Services