Code360 powered by Coding Ninjas X Naukri.com. Code360 powered by Coding Ninjas X Naukri.com
Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
What is Local Area Network (LAN)?
3.
How do Local Area Networks Work?
3.1.
Connecting
3.2.
Talking
3.3.
Listening
3.4.
Sharing
4.
Types of Local Area Network
4.1.
Wired Local Area Network
4.2.
Wireless Local Area Network (WLANs)
4.3.
Peer-to-Peer Local Area Network
4.4.
Client-Server Local Area Network
5.
What is a Virtual Local Area Network?
5.1.
Splitting Up
5.2.
Privacy
5.3.
Efficiency
5.4.
Flexibility
6.
What are the Benefits of a Local Area Network?
6.1.
Sharing is Easy
6.2.
Fast Speeds
6.3.
Safe & Secure
6.4.
Saves Money
6.5.
Playing Together
7.
What are the Drawbacks of Local Area Network?
7.1.
Limited Space
7.2.
Wires Can Be Messy
7.3.
Setup Takes Work
7.4.
Security Needs Attention
7.5.
Costs Upfront
8.
Frequently Asked Questions
8.1.
Can I use a Local Area Network without the internet?
8.2.
Is Local Area Network faster than Wi-Fi?
8.3.
Can I make my LAN bigger?
9.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
Easy

Local Area Network

Author Sinki Kumari
0 upvote
Master Python: Predicting weather forecasts
Speaker
Ashwin Goyal
Product Manager @

Introduction

Local Area Network, or LAN, is a crucial part of our daily tech lives, especially in places like schools, offices, & homes. It's a network that connects computers & devices close to each other, making it easier to share files, printers, & even play games together.

Local Area Network

In this article, we're going to explore what Local Area Network is all about, how it works, the different types we might come across, & even touch on what a Virtual Local Area Network is. We'll also look at the good stuff & the not-so-good stuff about having a Local Area Network. So, let's get started on this journey to understand the basics & benefits of Local Area Network.

What is Local Area Network (LAN)?

A Local Area Network, or LAN for short, is like a small town where all the computers & gadgets are neighbors. Imagine a group of friends living close by who can easily talk to each other, share games, & send photos without needing to send them through the mail. That's what a LAN does for computers & devices. They use cables or Wi-Fi to connect & share stuff super quickly because they're all in the same "local" area, usually in the same building or nearby. This makes things like printing a document from your laptop to the printer in the next room a breeze, or playing a video game with someone in the same house without any internet lag. It's all about making communication & sharing between devices fast & easy when they're close together.

Get the tech career you deserve, faster!
Connect with our expert counsellors to understand how to hack your way to success
User rating 4.7/5
1:1 doubt support
95% placement record
Akash Pal
Senior Software Engineer
326% Hike After Job Bootcamp
Himanshu Gusain
Programmer Analyst
32 LPA After Job Bootcamp
After Job
Bootcamp

How do Local Area Networks Work?

Think of a LAN as a party where all the devices are guests. They can all talk to each other because they're in the same room. Here's how it happens:

How do Local Area Network Work?

Connecting

Just like you need a road to reach a friend's house, devices in a Local Area Network connect using cables or Wi-Fi. It's like setting up a path for them to chat.

Talking

When one device wants to send a message, like a photo or a document, it uses this path. The message is split into tiny parts, like breaking a letter into pieces, so it can travel faster.

Listening

All devices in the Local Area Network have a unique ID, kind of like a name tag at the party. When a message is sent out, it has the ID of who it's for. Only the device with that ID picks it up and puts the pieces back together to read the message.

Sharing

If you want to print something, your computer sends a message to the printer with the document. The printer gets the message, puts it together, and starts printing.

This way, everyone at the party in a Local Area Network can share, talk, and play games without needing to go outside the room (the internet).

Types of Local Area Network

Local Area Networks come in different shapes & sizes, kind of like houses. Let's look at the main types:

Wired Local Area Network

These use cables to connect devices. It's like using a physical rope to tie all your tech together. This type is super fast & secure but can get messy with all the wires.

Wireless Local Area Network (WLANs)

No cables here! Devices connect using Wi-Fi, like invisible threads linking them. It's great for moving around without tripping over wires but might be a bit slower than wired ones.

Peer-to-Peer Local Area Network

Imagine a group project where everyone talks to each other directly. There's no boss; each device shares & accesses files with the others directly. Great for small groups!

Client-Server Local Area Network

This one has a boss (server) that stores all the files & stuff. Other devices (clients) ask the server when they need something. It's like a library where you go to borrow a book.

What is a Virtual Local Area Network?

A Virtual Local Area Network, or VLAN for short, is a bit like having rooms within a house. In a big house, you might have different rooms for different activities. A VLAN does something similar but with a network. It splits a big LAN into smaller, private groups. It's like having a party where each room has its own small party going on, separate from the others.

Here's how it works:

Splitting Up

Instead of one big network, a VLAN divides it into smaller networks. Each one is like its own little LAN. But they all still live in the same big "house" (the physical network).

Privacy

Each VLAN is private. It's like having a door to each room at the party. People in one VLAN can't see what's happening in another unless they're invited.

Efficiency

With VLANs, data only goes to where it needs to. It's like if you shout in one room, only people in that room can hear you. This keeps the network from getting too crowded.

Flexibility

You can change VLANs easily. It's like moving furniture between rooms to make each space work better for you.

VLANs are great for big places like schools or offices. They keep things organized & secure without needing extra cables.

What are the Benefits of a Local Area Network?

Having a Local Area Network is like having a toolbox full of handy tools. It makes a lot of things easier & faster. Let's see what good stuff a Local Area Network brings:

Sharing is Easy

Just like sharing snacks at a table, a LAN lets everyone share files & devices like printers. No need to pass around USB sticks.

Fast Speeds

LANs are speedy. Sending a file is like passing a note across a table. It's quick because it doesn't have to travel far.

Safe & Secure

With a LAN, keeping data safe is easier. It's a bit like keeping your personal stuff in your room. Only people with access can get in.

Saves Money

Instead of buying a printer for everyone, you can have one for the whole LAN. It's like having one big TV in the living room for everyone.

Playing Together

Gamers can play together on a LAN. It's like playing board games with friends in the same room. No lag, just fun.

LANs make working, playing, & sharing in the same space super convenient & efficient.

What are the Drawbacks of Local Area Network?

Even though Local Area Network are super useful, they're not perfect. Here are some things that might be a bit of a bummer:

Limited Space

LANs are for places close by, like a single building. It's like having a walkie-talkie that only works in your yard. For anything farther, it's not the best tool.

Wires Can Be Messy

If you're using a wired LAN, cables can get tangled. It's like having lots of cords behind your TV. It can be a hassle to sort out.

Setup Takes Work

Getting a LAN started needs some tech know-how. It's a bit like setting up a complex board game. You need to know the rules & steps.

Security Needs Attention

Even though LANs can be secure, you still need to protect them from nasty stuff like viruses. It's like locking your doors at night.

Costs Upfront

There's a cost to setting up a LAN, like buying the cables & equipment. It's like buying all the gear for a camping trip before you can enjoy it.

LANs are great, but they come with their own set of challenges that need some attention.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a Local Area Network without the internet?

Yes, you can! A Local Area Network is for connecting devices close by. You don't need the internet for that. It's like playing music on a Bluetooth speaker without Wi-Fi.

Is Local Area Network faster than Wi-Fi?

Wired Local Area Network are usually faster & more stable than Wi-Fi. It's like how a direct cable TV connection often has better quality than streaming over Wi-Fi.

Can I make my LAN bigger?

You can expand your LAN by adding more devices or using things like switches & routers. It's a bit like adding more chairs to a big dining table.

Conclusion

Local Area Networks or LANs, bring computers and devices together, making it easy to share, communicate, and play in close quarters. We've navigated through the essence of LANs, their operation, the variety available, and even touched on the concept of Virtual LANs. The benefits, like efficient sharing and high speeds, are clear, as are the challenges, such as setup complexities and limited range. Local Area Network is an integral for creating interconnected environments in homes, schools, and workplaces, facilitating seamless interaction among devices.

You can refer to our guided paths on the Coding Ninjas. You can check our course to learn more about DSADBMSCompetitive ProgrammingPythonJavaJavaScript, etc. Also, check out some of the Guided Paths on topics such as Data Structure and AlgorithmsCompetitive ProgrammingOperating SystemsComputer Networks, DBMSSystem Design, etc., as well as some Contests, Test Series, and Interview Experiences curated by top Industry Experts.

Previous article
Types of Area Network
Next article
What is Home Area Network?
Live masterclass