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 simple networks for many reasons. Some of these reasons are given below:

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


For different places ororganizations, using this types of network has different advantages.



Other Network Types

LANs are the networks that we use in our offices or in our home network. But beside these small networks, there are both larger or smaller network types. What rea these network types? Below, you can find them from smallest to the largest.

  • WAN (Wide Area Networ)
  • RAN (Regional Area Network)
  • MAN (Metropolitan Area Network)
  • CAN (Campus Area Network)
  • LAN (Local Area Network)
  • PAN (Personal Area Network)
  • BAN (Body Area Network)
  • Nano (Nano Network)

network types-wan-ran-man-can-lan-pan-ban-nano-ipcisco.com

As you can see here, the place of Local Area Network is in the middle of the other network types. There are both smaller networks and larger networks in the above picture. If you would like to learn more about other networks, you can check the related lessons.



Types of Local Area Networks (LANs)

There are different LAN Types according to the devices inside it, underlaying architecture and the medium used in this Local area network. We can divide lans into 7 sub categories according to this information. These 7 local area network types are given below:

  • Client-Server LAN
  • Peer-to-Peer LAN
  • Token Ring
  • Token Bus
  • Wired LAN
  • Wireless LAN
  • Cloud-Managed LAN




Now, let’s learn the details of these LAN types.



Client-Server LAN

In a Client-Server LAN, there is one Server and Clients connected to this server. Here, clients are connected only to the server. There is no connection between clients.

On this type of local area network, a single centralized device is used to manage this network. But here, all the load is on one single server. This is no scalable for a large network. So, this type of lan is used for small network.



Peer-to-Peer LAN

Different than client-server, peer to peer LAN provides connections between all the hosts. Each host can connect to the other host directly. With this connection, users can share data easily each other. This is the advantage of peer-to-peer local area network.



Token Ring

Token Ring lan is the network in which a token is used by the devices to send and receive data. According to their needs, users get these tokens in this type of network.



Token Bus

Another token lan type is token bus. This type of local area network provides more bandwidth than token ring. Here, connected devices are connected in a tree-based architecture. In this tyoe of network, tokens are transferred either left or right.



Wired Local Area Network

The most common local area network type is wired lan today. It is very useful and scalable for today’s networks. All the devices in a network are connected to a central device for example to a switch with a medium like coaxial cable, fiber cable etc.  With the help of this device, hosts can communicate each other.



Wireless Local Area Network

Today, another mostly used local area network is wireless lan. Wireless lan is the collection of the devices connected to an access point or to a home router. These devices can be a laptop, an ocean, a smartphone etc. Here, the main point is, communication is provided by wireless signals.



Cloud Managed LAN

The last type of lans is cloud-managed LANs. This type of network is also a wireless network but the only difference is, here, a cloud platform is used to manage this network. This is the recent technology of local area networks.


Lesson tags: LAN
Back to: CCNA 200-301 > Switching and LANs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CCNA 200-301