Local area network is the computer network that connects computers within the limited area such as schools, colleges or universities.
Local area networks, generally called LANs, are privately-owned networks. They provide a useful way of sharing resources between end users. The resources such as printers, file servers, scanners, and internet are easily sharable among other connected computers in a network.
Advantages of LAN
- Software Applications Sharing: In a Local Area Network, it is easy to use the same software in a number of computers connected to a network instead of purchasing the separately licensed software for each client a network.
- Resource Sharing: LAN provides resource sharing such as computer resources like printers, scanners, modems, DVD-ROM drives, and hard disks can be shared within the connected devices. This reduces cost and hardware purchases.
- Data Security: Since data is stored on the server computer, it will be easy to manage data at only one place and the data will be more secure too.
- Easy and Cheap Communication: Data and messages can easily be shared with the other computer connected to the network.
Centralized Data: The data of all network users can be stored on a hard disk of the central/server computer. This help users to use any computer in a network to access the required data.
- Internet Sharing: Local Area Network provides the facility to share a single internet connection among all the LAN users. In school labs and internet Cafes, single internet connection is used to provide internet to all connected computers.
Disadvantages of LAN
- High Setup Cost: The initial setup costs of installing Local Area Networks is high because there is special software required to make a server. Also, communication devices like an ethernet cable, switches, hubs, routers, cables are costly.
- Data Security Threat: Unauthorised users can access important data of an office or campus if a server hard disk is not properly secured by the LAN administrator.
- LAN Maintenance Job: Local Area Network requires a LAN Administrator because there are problems such as software installations, program faults or hardware failures or cable disturbances in Local Area Network. A LAN Administrator is required to maintain these issues.
- Privacy Violations: The LAN administrator can see and check personal data files of each and every LAN user. Moreover, he can view the computer and internet history of the LAN user.
- Covers Limited Area: LANs are restricted in size they cover a small area like a single office, single building or a group of nearby buildings.