Networks used to interconnect computers in a single room, rooms within a building or buildings on one site are called Local Area Network (LAN). LAN transmits data with a speed of several megabits per second (106 bits per second). The transmission medium is normally coaxial cables .
LAN links computers, i.e., software and hardware, in the same area for the purpose of sharing information. Usually LAN links computers within a limited geographical area because they must be connected by a cable, which is quite expensive. People working in LAN get more capabilities in data processing, work processing and other information exchange compared to stand-alone computers. Because of this information exchange most of the business and government organisations are using LAN.
Major Characteristics of LAN
•every computer has the potential to communicate with any other computers of the network
•high degree of interconnection between computers
•easy physical connection of computers in a network
•inexpensive medium of data transmission
•high data transmission rate
•The reliability of network is high because the failure of one computer in the network does not effect the functioning for other computers.
•Addition of new computer to network is easy.
•High rate of data transmission is possible.
•Peripheral devices like magnetic disk and printer can be shared by other computers.
If the communication line fails, the entire network system breaks down.
Use of LAN
Followings are the major areas where LAN is normally used
•File transfers and Access
•Word and text processing
•Electronic message handling
•Remote database access
•Digital voice transmission and storage