You are on page 1of 25

Local Area Networks


Each day computer users use their computer for
sending and retrieving email, scheduling
meetings, sharing files, preparing reports,
exchanging images, and maybe checking the
current price of an auction item on the Internet.
All of this requires computers to access multiple
networks and share their resources.
The multiple networks required to accomplish
this are the local area network (LAN), the
campus area network (CAN), the metropolitan
area network (MAN), and the wide area network

The ease of connecting to the Internet and the dramatic
decrease in computer systems cost, have led to an
explosion in their usage.
Organizations such as corporations, colleges, and
government agencies have acquired large numbers of
single-user computer systems.
These systems may be dedicated to word processing,
scientific computation, process control, or may be
general-purpose computers that perform many tasks.
This has generated a need to interconnect these locally
distributed computer networks.
The network commonly used to accomplish this
interconnection is called a local area network (LAN),
which is a network of users that share computer
resources in a limited area.

Local Area Networks (LANs)

LANs emerged in the late 1980s as the most important
means of conveying data between different computers
and computer peripheral devices (printer, file
server,electronic mail server, fax gateway, host
gateway, computer printer, scanner, etc.)within a
single office, office building, or small campus.
They were originally designed as shared media (layer
2 or datalink communications media) and are ideally
suited for relatively short distance, high speed data
transport and have thus become the foundation for
modern electronic officesinterconnecting
workstations, word processors, shared printers, file
servers, email systems, web servers and so on.

LAN topologies and standards

The three most common LAN topologies are the star, ring
and bus topologies.


Figur 1. Alternative LAN topologies

Token Ring Topology

In this topology, a token
(shown as a T) is placed in the
data channel and circulates
around the ring, hence the
name token-ring.
If a user wants to transmit, the
computer waits until it has
control of the token.
This technique is called token
passing and is based on the
IEEE 802.5 Token-Ring
Network standard

Disadvantage of the token-ring system

If an error changes the token pattern, it can
cause the token to stop circulating.
A failed station can cause data traffic to cease.
The token-ring path must be temporarily broken
(path interrupted) if a computer or any device
connected to the network is to be removed or
added to the network.
A fix to this is to attach all the computers to a
central token-ring hub.
Such a device manages the passing of the token
rather than relying on individual computers to
pass it, which improves the reliability of the

Bus topology
The computers share the
media (coaxial cable) for
data transmission. In this
topology, a coaxial cable
(called ThinNet) is looped
through each networking
device to facilitate data
However, in a bus system, all networking devices will see
computer 1s data traffic to the printer, and the other devices
must wait for pauses in transmission or until it is complete
before they can initiate their own transmission.
The use of a shared coaxial cable in a bus topology prevents
transmission from being very bandwidth-efficient.

Star topology
The most common
networking topology
in todays LANs.
At the center of a star
network is either a
switch or a hub. This
connects the network
devices and facilitates
the transfer of data.

Star Topology
Similar to the bus topology in that all data traffic on the
LAN is being seen by all computers.
The fact that the hub broadcasts all data traffic to the
devices connected to its network ports makes these
devices of limited use in large networks, but hubs are
sometimes still used in small, slower-speed LANs.
To minimize unnecessary data traffic and isolate
sections of the network, a switch can be used at the
center of a star network.
A switch stores the hardware or physical address for
each device connected to its ports.
The storage of the address enables the switch to directly
connect two communicating devices without
broadcasting the data to all devices connected to its


mesh topology
All networking devices
are directly connected to
each other.
This provides for full
redundancy in the
network data paths but at
a cost.
This topology can be
suitable for high-reliability
applications but can be
too costly for general
networking applications.



The Ethernet LAN

The networking protocol used in most modern computer
networks is Ethernet, a CSMA/CD protocol for local area
CSMA/CD stands for carrier sense multiple access with
collision detection.
There is a chance that two or more computers will
attempt to broadcast a message at the same time;
therefore, Ethernet systems must have the capability to
detect data collisions (collision detection).
The information in an Ethernet network is exchanged in
a packet format.
The packet provides grouping of the information for
transmission that includes the header, the data, and the


The data structure for the Ethernet frame

How are the destination and source addresses

for the data determined within a LAN?
MAC stands for media access control. The MAC
address is 6 bytes, or 48 bits, in length.
The address is displayed in 12 hexadecimal digits. The
first 6 digits are used to indicate the vendor of the
network interface, also called the organizationally
unique identifier (OUI), and the last 6 numbers form a
unique value for each NIC assigned by the vendor.




IP (Internet Protocol) Addressing

IP addressing provides a solution to worldwide
addressing through incorporating a unique
address that identifies the computers local
IP network numbers are assigned by IANA
(Internet Assigned Numbers Authority).
IP addresses are classified as either IPv4 or
The major difference between IPv4 and IPv6 is
the number of IP addresses. There are just over
4 billion IPv4 addresses. In contrast, there are
over 16 billion-billion IPv6 addresses.


Basic comparison between IPv4 and IPv6



The Classes of IPv4 Networks

The Address Range for Each Class of Network


Cat. Hal 41


Assembling a home network

Do I want to set up a wired or wireless home
The following are advantages of a wired network:
Faster network data transfer speeds (within the LAN).
Relatively inexpensive to setup.
The network is not susceptible to outside interference.
The following are disadvantages of the wired network:
The cable connections typically require the use of
specialized tools.
The cable installation can be labor-intensive and


Assembling a home network Cont.

The advantages of a wireless network are many
including the following:
User mobility
Simple installations
No cables
Disadvantages of a wireless network can include :
Security issues.
The data transfer speed within the LAN can
be slower than wired networks.


Wireless (Wi Fi)

The most common wireless standards include :
802.11a (Wireless-A)This standard can provide data
transfer rates up to 54 Mbps and an operating range up
to 75 feet. It operates at 5GHz.
802.11b (Wireless-B)This standard can provide data
transfer rates up to 11 Mbps with ranges of 100 to 150
feet. It operates at 2.4 GHz.
802.11g (Wireless-G)This standard can provide data
transfer rates up to 54 Mbps up to 150 feet. It operates
at 2.4 GHz.
802.11n (Wireless-N)This is the next generation of
high-speed wireless connectivity promising data transfer
rates up to 4 802.11g speeds (200+Mbps). It operates
at 2.4 GHz.

An example of a (a) wired and (b) wireless WiFi home network



The components of a home network can include

the following:
HubThis is used to interconnect networking devices.
SwitchThis is the best choice for interconnecting
networking devices.
Network AdapterWired and wireless network
adapters are available. The type of network adapter
used in desktop computers is called the Network
Interface Card (NIC).
RouterA networking device used to connect two or
more networks (for example, your LAN and the Internet)
using a single connection to your ISP.
Access PointUsed to interconnect wireless devices
and provide a connection to the wired LAN.


The components of a home network can include

the following:
Wireless routerThis device uses RF to connect to the
networking devices. A wireless router typically contains a
router, switch, and a wireless access point and is
probably the most common way to interconnect wireless
LANs to the ISPs access device.
Broadband Modem/GatewayThis describes the
device used to provide high-speed data access via your
cable connection or via a telephone companys DSL
Cable ModemThis device is used to make a
broadband network connection from your home network
to the ISP using your cable connection.



Several issues should be considered when planning

for a home network, including the following:
Data speedThis will be determined by whether you
chose to implement a wired or wireless home network.
CostImplementing a high-speed wired network can be
quite expensive.
Ease of implementationA wireless home network is
probably the easiest to implement if the cabling and
connectors for a wired network are not already installed.




Reference :
Jeffrey S. Beasley, Networking,
Second Edition, Prentice Hall, 2008.