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A local area network (LAN) is a computer network that interconnects computers within a

limited area such as a home, school, computer laboratory, or office building, using network
The defining characteristics of A!s, in contrast to wide area networks ("A!s),
include their smaller geographic area, and non#inclusion of leased telecommunication lines.
[citation needed]
A$%!&T, Token $ing and other technology standards ha'e been used in the past, but
&thernet o'er twisted pair cabling, and "i#(i are the two most common technologies
currently used to build A!s.
1 )istory
o 1.1 *tandards e'olution
o 1.+ %abling
+ Technical aspects
, *ee also
- $eferences
. &/ternal links
A conceptual diagram of a local area network using 101A*&. &thernet
The increasing demand and use of computers in uni'ersities and research labs in the late
1230s generated the need to pro'ide high#speed interconnections between computer systems.
A 1240 report from the awrence $adiation aboratory detailing the growth of their
56ctopus5 network
ga'e a good indication of the situation.
%ambridge $ing was de'eloped at %ambridge 7ni'ersity in 124-
but was ne'er de'eloped
into a successful commercial product.
&thernet was de'eloped at 8ero/ 9A$% in 124,:124.,
and filed as 7.*. 9atent -,03,,++0.
;n 1243, after the system was deployed at 9A$%, <etcalfe and 1oggs published a seminal
paper, 5&thernet= >istributed 9acket#*witching for ocal %omputer !etworks.5
A$%!&T was de'eloped by >atapoint %orporation in 1243 and announced in 1244.
;t had
the first commercial installation in >ecember 1244 at %hase <anhattan 1ank in !ew ?ork.
Standards evolution
The de'elopment and proliferation of personal computers using the %9A< operating system
in the late 1240s, and later >6*#based systems starting in 12@1, meant that many sites grew
to doBens or e'en hundreds of computers. The initial dri'ing force for networking was
generally to share storage and printers, which were both e/pensi'e at the time. There was
much enthusiasm for the concept and for se'eral years, from about 12@, onward, computer
industry pundits would regularly declare the coming year to be Cthe year of the A!D.
;n practice, the concept was marred by proliferation of incompatible physical layer and
network protocol implementations, and a plethora of methods of sharing resources. Typically,
each 'endor would ha'e its own type of network card, cabling, protocol, and network
operating system. A solution appeared with the ad'ent of !o'ell !et"are which pro'ided
e'en#handed support for doBens of competing cardAcable types, and a much more
sophisticated operating system than most of its competitors. !etware dominated
personal computer A! business from early after its introduction in 12@, until the mid#1220s
when <icrosoft introduced "indows !T Ad'anced *er'er and "indows for "orkgroups.
6f the competitors to !et"are, only 1anyan Eines had comparable technical strengths, but
1anyan ne'er gained a secure base. <icrosoft and ,%om worked together to create a simple
network operating system which formed the base of ,%omFs ,G*hare, <icrosoftFs A!
<anager and ;1<Fs A! *er'er # but none of these was particularly successful.
>uring the same period, 7ni/ computer workstations from 'endors such as *un
<icrosystems, )ewlett#9ackard, *ilicon Hraphics, ;ntergraph, !e8T and Apollo were using
T%9A;9 based networking. Although this market segment is now much reduced, the
technologies de'eloped in this area continue to be influential on the ;nternet and in both
inu/ and Apple <ac 6* 8 networkingIand the T%9A;9 protocol has now almost
completely replaced ;98, AppleTalk, !1(, and other protocols used by the early 9% A!s.
&arly A! cabling had generally been based on 'arious grades of coa/ial cable. *hielded
twisted pair was used in ;1<Fs Token $ing A! implementation, but in 12@-, *tarA!
showed the potential of simple unshielded twisted pair by using %at, cableIthe same simple
cable used for telephone systems. This led to the de'elopment of 101ase#T (and its
successors) and structured cabling which is still the basis of most commercial A!s today.
(iber#optic cabling is common for links between switches, but fiber to the desktop is
"i#(i is now a 'ery common component of A! 5cabling5, both for where copper cabling is
not possible, andAor to support easy access for laptops and smartphones.
Technical aspects
!etwork topology describes the layout of interconnections between de'ices and network
segments. At the >ata ink ayer and 9hysical ayer, a wide 'ariety of A! topologies ha'e
been used, including ring, bus, mesh and star, but the most common A! topology in use
today is switched &thernet. At the higher layers, the ;nternet 9rotocol (T%9A;9) has become
the standard, replacing !et1&7;, ;98A*98, AppleTalk and others.
*imple A!s generally consist of one or more switches. A switch can be connected to a
router, cable modem, or A>* modem for ;nternet access. %omple/ A!s are characteriBed
by their use of redundant links with switches using the spanning tree protocol to pre'ent
loops, their ability to manage differing traffic types 'ia Juality of ser'ice (Ko*), and to
segregate traffic with EA!s. A A! can include a wide 'ariety of network de'ices such as
switches, firewalls, routers, load balancers, and sensors.
A!s can maintain connections with other A!s 'ia leased lines, leased ser'ices, or the
;nternet using 'irtual pri'ate network technologies. >epending on how the connections are
established and secured in a A!, and the distance in'ol'ed, a A! may also be classified as
a metropolitan area network (<A!) or a wide area network ("A!).
Diference between LAN and WAN
The other diference between LAN and WAN, is the speed of the network. The
maximum speed
of a LAN can be 1000 meabits per second, whi!e the speed of a WAN can o up
to 1"0
meabits per second. This means the speed of a WAN, is one#tenth of the speed
of a LAN. A
WAN is usua!!$ s!ower because it has !ower bandwidth.
%omputers in a LAN can share a printer, if the$ are a!! in the same LAN. &n the
other hand, a
WAN cannot share a printer, so a computer in one countr$ cannot use a printer in
countr$. A LAN does not need a dedicated computer to direct tra'c to and from
the (nternet,
un!ike a WAN that needs a specia!#purpose computer, whose on!$ purpose is to
send and recei)e
data from the (nternet.
Another LAN )s. WAN comparison is the cost of the network. A WAN is more
expensi)e than a
LAN. (t is easier to expand a LAN than a WAN. The e*uipment needed for a LAN is
a network
interface card +N(%,, a switch and a hub. &n the other hand, the e*uipment
needed to connect a
WAN to the (nternet is a modem and a router. The modem ma$ be a cab!e
modem or a D-L
modem that is connected to a wa!! .ack, whi!e the router shou!d be con/ured so
that it can
hand!e the packets tra)e!in between the WAN and the (nternet.
(n LAN )s. WAN, there is a diference in the networkin standard used. A LAN
uses the
0thernet standard, whi!e a WAN uses the T1 standard. 1efore 0thernet, the
protoco!s used for
LAN were Attached 2esource %omputer Network +A2%N0T, and Token 2in. The
used for WAN are 3rame 2e!a$ and As$nchronous Transfer 4ode +AT4,. Another
protoco! for
WAN is 5acket o)er -&N0T6-D7 +5o-,, where -&N0T stands for -$nchronous
Networkin and -D7 stands for -$nchronous Diita! 7ierarch$. The /rst WAN
protoco! was
8.9", whi!e an ad)anced WAN protoco! is 4u!tiprotoco! Labe! -witchin +45L-,.
hardware in a LAN is connected with 101ase#T cab!e connectors, whi!e a WAN is
connected )ia
!eased !ines or sate!!ites.
7ere is an exp!anation of LANs and WANs. A LAN is eas$ to set up, as $ou need
to s!ip the N(%
into the 5%( s!ot +for desktop computers, or 5%4%(A s!ot +for !aptop computers,.
:ou a!so need
to insta!! the dri)er for the N(%. The N(% can be connected to the network usin
the 2;<" port.
&n the other hand, a WAN is )er$ di'cu!t to set up. There is often an app!iance
to optimi=e the
WAN. There is a!so a de)ice to cache WAN data, so workers in the branch o'ce
can *uick!$
access documents. The router a!so has >ua!it$ of -er)ice +>o-, bui!t in, so that it
i)es priorit$
to certain kinds of tra'c.
There are )arious topo!oies a)ai!ab!e in LAN and WAN networkin. The most
topo!oies in LAN and WAN networks are rin and star. The rin topo!o$ is a
network in
which e)er$ node +e)er$ computer, is connected to exact!$ two other nodes. The
star topo!o$ is
a network in which a!! the nodes +ca!!ed !eaf nodes or periphera! nodes, are
connected to a
centra! node.
Tab!e ?
Feature LAN WAN
-peed 1000 4bps 1"0 4bps
1andwidth for
7ih Low
Data Transfer 2ate 7ih Low
-ma!! Lare
101ase#T %ab!e Leased Line or
Techno!o$ Ased Token 2in B 0thernet AT4, 3rame 2e!a$,
3ew 4ore
-etup %ost Low 7ih
Less 4ore
Network Topo!o$ 5eer to 5eer %!ient -er)er 4ode!
-ecurit$ 4ore -ecure than
&pen to Threats
-tandard 0thernet T1
No :es
7ub, -witch 2outer, 4odem
0xpansion Asin a N(% Asin an 0xtra
2ane 1 km Ap to 10000 kms
5rinter -harin :es, if in the same