LAN means Local area network. A LAN is a group of computers and devices that are in a certain location. The devices can be connected to a LAN with an Ethernet cable or via Wi-Fi. in this article, I am going to simplify what is local area network (LAN) and its functions and advantages.

History of LAN:

Since the Local Area Network first appeared in the 1970s, its uses have widespread in academic environments. Initially, Xerox began the development of Ethernet between 1973 and 1974. Then they joined Intel and DEC and created DIX Ethernet.

Finally, they transitioned this Ethernet development to IEEE. IEEE formed two committees:

  • Committee 802.3 worked on the standards of the physical layer, as well as on a subpart of the data link layer called media access control (MAC). 802.2 worked on data link layer the logical link control (LLC) sublayer.

IEEE 802 family of IEEE standards dealing with Local area Network.

What is LAN?

Local Area Network covers a small geographical area. Most of the time, a LAN is limited to a single room, building or group of buildings, however, a LAN can connect to other LANs at any distance through telephone lines and radio waves. Currently, wired LAN’s are most likely to use Ethernet technology. So, LAN technologies run at a speed of 10mbps to 100mbps and have a lower delay. Hence, LAN is easy to design and maintain. It has high data transfer rates with very low error rates.

LANs IP address is a Local Area Network IP address which is an ID for your desktop, server or laptop which can connect to router or hub.

what is LAN

Types of LAN:

LANs are further divided into three types:

  1. Protocol
  2. Topologies
  3. Media


The protocol is nothing but a format which transmits data between two devices. These protocols can be defined in network software. Protocols are Ethernet, Token Ring, ARCnet.

Ethernet is the most commonly used LAN protocol which is used in bus topology with a high speed network cable. It is relatively cheaper and simple.

Token Ring topology mostly used in a Ring topology and it is an Electronic signal. IBM has developed this token ring topology.

ARCnet stands for Attached Resource Computer introduced in the year 1977. It uses either twisted pair or co-axial cable but, the original ARCnet protocol was very slow.



In the communication network, topologies are usually schematic descriptions of network settings, including nodes and connecting lines. Hence, there are two ways to define network geometry: physical topology and logical topology.

The physical topology highlights the physical layout of the nodes and associated devices, while the logical topology concentrates the pattern of information transfer between nodes. Therefore, several common types of physical topologies described below.

  1. Ring topology
  2. Bus topology
  3. Star topology
  4. Mesh topology
  5. Tree topology


In a computer network, the media refers to the cables that connect the workstations. Moreover, there are many different types of broadcast media, the most popular being the twisted pair cable (normal electric cable), the coaxial cable (the type of cable used for cable television) and Fiber Optics (cables made of glass or plastic core).


Functions of LAN:

  1. File serving: Large storage disks act as central storage repositories.
  2. Print serving: Authorize to access certain prints.
  3. Video transfer: High-speed LANs can support video images and live video transfers.
  4. Academic support: Used in classrooms, labs, and wireless.
  5. Manufacturing support: LAN can support manufacturing and industrial environment.
  6. Email support: Interaction between the multiple systems.
  7. Centralized management
  8. Local servers for backup

Advantages of LAN:

  1. Private ownership
  2. Easy to share devices and data
  3. High-speed secure transfers with low error rates
  4. Access to other LANs and WANs portable
  5. Basic LAN implementation doesn’t cost too much
  6. It is easy to configure security protocols to protect LAN users from intruders or hackers.
  7. Security of data

Disadvantages of LAN:

  1. Network security
  2. Setup takes much time
  3. Improper knowledge of admin can create an improper authorization
  4. Covers a small geographical area
  5. Equipment and support can be costly
  6. A LAN consists of many lines

Moreover, the data for LAN varies from 10Mbps to 40 Gbps with a maximum of 100 Gbps which is into implementation. So, the term LAN can refer to hardware and software that allows you to connect devices.

Hence, LAN’s are considered as fast, reliable, or safe as connections between devices are on the same LAN. So, by this article you got a brief idea about Local Area Network and its types, functions, and advantages. So, if you have any queries please mention in the comment section below.