Local Area Networks


There are three common network types according to their coverage size. These are, LANs, MANs and WANs. LAN is the smallest sized network in these three network type. LAN (Local Area Network) is a small network that is built within a small geographical area. A LAN can be your home network, your company’s network or any similar network that is consist of mostly with switches and the hosts connected to them. Beside, a LAN consist of different office equipments like printers. A LAN can consist of two computers simply, beside,it can consist of hundreds of devices.

According to your LANs size, you can use various central devices. This can be simple switches, hubs, access points or home routers.

If your Local Area Network is a big LAN or an enterprise LAN, then you can use devices that has various size and capacity as central devices. And this can be used in different hierarchy and level.

To build a Local Area Network, generally Ethernet technology is used. We will talk about Ethernet in another article.

There are various topologies that are used by LAN. These topologies can be Bus, Start, Ring, etc. We will also talk about these topologies in the network topologies article.


You can also check Collision and Broadcast Domains lesson!


What Do we Need for a LAN?

To build a Local Area Network, there are some requirements. These requirements are very simple that, every one who has an internet connection at home, has these. What are these requirements?

  • A Host device like PC, printer etc. that has NIC (NEtwork Interface Card)
  • A Central device like switches, hubs etc. which connects different hosts
  • A Cable that your hosts used to connect to the central device.
  • A Management Software



Why We Use A Local Area Network?

LANs are the simplest network topologies. People use this sipmel networks for many reasons. Some of these reasons are given below:

  • Fast communication between different hosts
  • Sharing data inside their home, company, etc.
  • Providing a centralized controlled network
  • To reach all devices you have over one network


Lesson tags: LAN
Back to: HCNA > Local Area Networks

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