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Advantages of LAN | disadvantages of LAN

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of LAN. It mentions LAN advantages or benefits and LAN disadvantages or drawbacks. LAN stands for Local Area Network.

What is LAN?

The set of computers or devices connected together with the ability to exchange data is known as computer network. The networking are of two types viz. wired networking and wireless networking. The LAN is an interconnection of small devices covering shorter distances or area. It is used in home offices or schools to share common resources such as printers, internet, memory etc. Moreover it is used for chatting between PC users using LAN based applications.

LAN-Local Area Network

In basic LAN (Local Area Network), computers are connected by ethernet cables using router or hub. There are two basic types of LAN viz. wired LAN and Wireless LAN. Wired LAN uses 100BASE-T and 1000BASE-T standards. Wireless LAN uses radio frequency for transmission and covers larger distances beyond walls and floors and uses IEEE 802.11 standards for implementation. Based on distance covered, the computer networks are divided into three main parts viz. LAN, MAN and WAN. Among these types, LAN has lowest coverage upto 2 miles(or 2500 meters) and data rates (10/100/1000 Mbps). Refer difference between LAN vs WAN vs MAN>>.

LAN can be formed using just two computers connected together using network card or multiple computers connected using Hub/Router. There may be file server on the LAN used for sharing of files and folders among LAN users.

Benefits or advantages of LAN

Following are the benefits or advantages of LAN:
➨The basic LAN implementation does not cost too much.
➨It is easy to control and manage the entire LAN as it is available in one small region.
➨The LAN configuration is very easy due to availability of required protocols in the Operating System (OS) itself.
➨The systems or devices connected on LAN communicates at very high speed depending upon LAN type and ethernet cables supported. The common speeds supported are 10 Mbps, 100 Mbps and 1000 Mbps. Gigabit ethernet versions are evolving very fast. Cheaper versions will be available once the technology matures and mass production has been carried out.
➨With the help of file servers connected on the LAN, sharing of files and folders among peers will become very easy and efficient.
➨It is easy to setup security protocols to protect the LAN users from intruders or hackers.
➨It is easy to share common resources such as printers and internet line among multiple LAN users.
➨LAN users do not require their own harddisk and CD-ROM drives. They can save their work centrally on network file server.
➨Application softwares such as MS Office, Anti-Virus, Adobe reader are stored at one system and are shared for all the LAN users. This helps them install application softwares by click of a mouse.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of LAN

Following are the disadvantages of LAN:
➨LAN covers small geographical area.
➨Security issues are big concern as it is easy to have access to programs and data of peers. Special security measures are needed to stop unauthorized access.
➨It is difficult to setup and maintain LAN and requires skilled technicians and network administrators.
➨In the server based LAN architecture, if server develops some fault, all the users are affected.
➨Appearance of virus in one system can spread very fast to all the LAN users very easily.

Also refer advantages and disadvantages of MAN (Metropolitan Area Network)>> and WAN (Wide Area Network)>>.

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