An Overview of Large Area Network (LAN)

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Local area network or LAN is a computer network helps in establishing the connection of the other computers within a limited area covering a certain range. Such networks can be easily established in homes, schools, university campuses, and laboratory and office buildings. Besides these, it also comes with the feature of network equipment which facilitates interconnection in an easy manner.

LAN Topologies

The LAN topologies are 5 in number. They help in a proper understanding of the organization of the network devices along with the logical architectures. It helps in knowing the direction of signals that communicate between devices. On the other hand, the cables that connect them do not have the similar fixing manner.

LAN Topologies – Types

  1. Bus Topology

In this, the signal is placed into the medium which is then received by all devices on the bus. But at a single time, if two or more devices send signals, can lead to interference between the two. Bus topology can consist of copper wires that are long enough with the tapping of other wires into the same.

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  1. Ring Topology

This consists of a device contacting two others or all devices communicating in a circle within the network. Here, if a computer sends data from any of the interfaces then the device to which the data is being sent can respond. But many times, some rings transmit traffic in a single direction. On the other hand, the others transmit traffic in both directions. For example – FDDI and Token Ring.

  1. Tree Topology

This topology is also called the hybrid topology. It has derived its name for the manner of the connected devices. Being narrow at the bottom, only a few devices are present but it does spread its branches on the top. At the bottom, the switches and servers are located while the user’s computers are located at the top of the tree.

  1. Star Topology

The star topology is often known as a star network. This particular network setup looks like a star and it comprises a hub which is connected to nodes. This hub acts as a central network or server with which the nodes or clients remain connected. Star topology is advantageous over the others because:

  • Nodes can be easily attached
  • If one node stops functioning, it can be removed while the others work normally

Disadvantages of this network are:

  • If central hub fails, the entire network collapses
  1. Mesh Topology

It is a sort of network setup where each node and network device remains interconnected with each other. The nodes not only send their own signal but also assist in relaying data from the other connected clients. This topology is mainly used for wireless networks. It is mainly of 2 types. They are:

  • Full Mesh Topology
  • Partial Mesh Topology

LAN Uses

LAN connects computers along with the peripheral devices that are connected to a single server in a distinct geographical area like an office, school or library. The LAN connection is used by various devices like computers and mobiles for sharing of resources.

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