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Local Area Network

Local Area Network



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Published by api-3699388

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Published by: api-3699388 on Oct 14, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Anetwo rk is developed by linking computer systems so that they can communicate with
each other, share computing power and/or storage facilities.
The network includes the individual computer systems, the connections and the hardware
that allows communication to happen.
The connections could becable,fibre- opti c, orw ireless (infra-red, microwave or
radio) and may be between computers in one building or between computers in
different parts of the world. They either link computers directly or more
commonly link them through a hub or switch.
The hardware includes the network cards fitted inside the computers and the hubs
or switches.

Often the computers in a network are linked to aserver, this is a powerful computer
which holds the software to run the network. It also holds the shared resources of the
network like the users\u2019 files, software packages and printer queues. It usually has a much
higher specification than the other computers on the network, with a very large hard disk

Network Components:
Anetwo rk is not just a number of computers connected bycables. Parts found in a
typical network are:
Network software - This may be part of the operating system, or it can be
software designed specifically to manage a network.
Cables - Connecting cables are usually used to connect devices on a network,
although some networks make use ofradio orm icrowa ves to provide the link.
Connectors - Connectors are used to connect network cables to terminals or
other devices.
Network cards - If a personal computer is to be used as aterminal in a network,

a device called a network card must be built into it. The network card looks like a small circuit board and slots into one of the connectors on the main circuit board (called the mother board) inside the computer. Network cards haveconnectors on them for network cables.

You will not be expected to be specific about any particular network hardware and
software but you should know what each component does.
Typical hardware devices that may form part of a network are:
personal computers used as terminals
one or more central processing units acting as dedicated file servers or print
disk drives

A Local Area Network (LAN) is a high-speed communications system designed to link
computers and other data processing devices together within a small geographic area,
such as a workgroup, department, or building. This allows users to electronically share
vital computing resources, such as expensive hardware (e.g. printers and CD-ROM
drives), application programs, and information.
Local Area Networks implement shared access technology. This means that all of the
devices attached to the LAN share a single communications medium, usually a coaxial,
twisted-pair, or fiber-optic cable.
A physical connection to the network is made by putting a network interface card (NIC)
inside the computer and connecting it to the network cable. Once the physical connection
is in place, the network software manages communications between stations on the
LANs offer computer users many advantages, including shared access to devices and
applications, file exchange between connected users, and communication between users
via electronic mail and other applications.
First appeared in the 1970s

Advantages of LAN
Individual workstation might survive network failure.
Ability to share hardware and software resources.
Component and system evolution are possible.
Support for heterogeneous forms of hardware and software.
Access to other LANs and WANs .
Private ownership.
Secure transfers at high speeds & low error rates.

Good quality printers can be shared so individual workstations do not need their own printer. When they print, the data is stored in a queue on the server. The data is then passed to the printer in turn.

All the users work can be stored in a central place (the dedicated file server) so
a user can access their work through any computer on the network.
Software can be shared, software packages are stored on the server and
downloaded to workstations as requested. Note that a licence still has to be bought
for each copy of the software needed.
Data can be shared because database files stored in the server are available to
users around the network; data from CD-ROMs can also be shared across the
Central back-up can take place automatically at regular intervals. A user will
usually be able to retrieve work that has been deleted by mistake.
Local email messages can be sent to people working at other computers on the
network which can save time and paper.
It is possible to set up a localintranet such as that on the KLB school network.
The web pages of information can be accessed only over the LAN. An intranet is
free because it does not involve phone links.
There is control over users\u2019 access rights to programs and data.
Disadvantages of LAN
Equipment and support can be costly.
Level of maintenance continues to grow.
Some types of hardware may not interoperate.
Just because aLA N can support two different kinds of packages does not mean
their data can interchange easily.
ALAN is only as strong as it weakest link, and there are many links.
Printing can be slow. Where a lot of computers are served by only one or two
printers, long print queues may develop.

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