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DefinitionA computer network that
spans a relatively small area. Most LANs are confined to a single
building or group of buildings. However, one LAN can be connected to
other LANs over any distance via telephone lines and radio waves. A
system of LANs connected in this way is called a
wide-area network (WAN).
Most LANs connect
personal computers. Each node ( individual computer ) in a LAN has its own
CPU with which it
executes programs, but it also is able to access data and devices anywhere
on the LAN. This means that many can share expensive devices, such as
printers, as well as data. Users can also use the LAN to communicate
with each other, by sending
engaging in chat
There are many different types of LANs
Ethernets being the most common for
Macintosh networks are based on
AppleTalk network system, which is built into Macintosh computers.
LANs are capable of transmitting data at
very fast rates, much faster than data can be transmitted over a
telephone line; but the distances are limited, and there is also a limit
on the number of computers that can be attached to a single LAN.
These networks consist of many different
components including computers,