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LAN (Local Area Network)

What is a Local Area Network?

A Local Area Network is a group of computers and it's output devices connected via a connection wire, or wireless. A LAN only covers a small area, say a house or an office building. For bigger connections, like buildings connected in Auckland and Wellington, you would need a WAN.

Example
In a house you could have 4 computers, one desktop and three laptops, all connected via wireless internet. Not only could you do that, but, you could connect the printer up to the network as well, allowing all the computers, no matter where in the house they were, to print to that one printer. Office buildings often do the same thing, linking the computers in the building, or a particular floor, together and sharing one printer between them.

DIAGRAM

basic_LAN_diagram.gif


One of the workstations can be a printer or a scanner or even a fax. It doesn't have to be an extra workstation.

ADVANTAGES OF LAN :

  • SPEED - LAN's provide a quick way to share documents and files with others connected to the LAN. Normally you would use floppy disks or USB's or CD-ROM's. Connected to a LAN you could transfer the file easily via the LAN e-mail orsharing files.
  • COST -
  • SECURITY
  • E-MAIL
  • RESOURCE SHARING


DISADVANTAGE OF LAN:

  • EXPENSIVE TO INSALL
  • REQUIRES ADMINISTRATIVE TIME
  • FILE SERVER MAY FAIL
  • CABLES MAY BREAK





WAN (Wide Area Network)

What is a Wide Area Network?

A Wide Area Network is a larger group of computers and output devices, as well as input, connected via connection wires or wireless. It covers a larger area compared to the LAN and can be used globally.


DIAGRAM

General_WAN_Diagram_L.jpg

ADVANTAGES OF WAN

  • pretty much the same as LAN

DISADVANTAGES OF WAN

  • pretty much the same as LAN



Links to Useful Sites :


Webopedia Computer Dictionary
Wikipedia - LAN
Wikipedia - WAN
LAN
LAN vs WAN