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
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.
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
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.
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