Local area networks

A local area network is also known as a LAN. It is a computer network that interconnects computers within the same limited area. For example, LAN connects computers in the same residence, business premises, school or university campus. In each case, the network equipment the interconnects are locally managed, often by an IT department. More often than not, LAN is confined to a single room, building or group of clustered buildings however one LAN can be connected to others (of any distance) via telephone or radio waves. While each LAN is interconnected, they can also stand alone. One of the most common LANs that everyone knows is WIFI (another is Ethernet). Ethernet is a specification that empowers computers to communicate with each other by a cable, while Wi-Fi (WLAN) uses radio waves to connect computers to the LAN. The purpose of LANs is to enable sharing – sharing of files, printers, games or other applications, as well as services like email and internet access making it the perfect business or academic tool.

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