LAN stands for Local Area Network. Especially LANs are computer networks which cover a small geographical area, such as a room, office or building. LANs can serve two to several hundred users in homes or businesses.

Multiple LANs across the world can be joined together, often using wires or radio waves.

When setup correctly, LANs can improve productivity, collaboration and company bottom line, keeping employees and customers happy.

3 People sitting round a table with their laptops in front of them, laughing

What Is A Basic LAN Setup?

LANs usually consist of several devices, called nodes, which connect with radio waves (WiFi, Bluetooth, etc.) or cables.

A node is essentially a computer, printer or other devices which can connect to a network. Every node will have a unique network address (MAC address).

Usually, a basic setup will contain a router, one or more computers and a resource, like a printer. These connect through wires or wirelessly. More nodes can be added to make the system work.

What Are The Benefits Of LANs?

Resource Sharing

LANs allow multiple people to share resources, applications and files. Without a working network, everyone in the office would need their own hard-drive or printer, which would be impractical and expensive.

By connecting everything up, you can easily share information and resources, without needing additional desk space.

Centralised Data

Having a computer network means all information can be kept in one place and can be accessed by multiple users. This allows members of the same team to access all the resources needed to do their job. This could be a company intranet or a collection of files.

Cheaper Long-Term Cost

In the long-run, networks will work out cheaper, especially if you are leasing printers. Network equipment can last for at least three years before it needs to be replaced.

Productivity And Collaboration

Networks allow teams to work together and work faster. Networks can integrate with a number of technologies, including Internet of Things (IoT) devices, allowing staff to access data, resources and more at the click of a button.

Two colleagues talking to each other

What Are The Disadvantages of LANs

High Setup Cost

LANs will be cost-effective in the long run, but in the short term, it can be expensive depending on how big your team is, and what your requirements are.

Security

Any virus that gets into your network has the potential to infect all the devices on the network, which means you need to be vigilant and proactive when it comes to your network security.

Privacy

Centralised data means that without proper care, anyone can access the files on the network. However, while files can be locked down for users, you will always need one person with access to everything, usually a LAN administrator.