Local Area Network
Definition: A LAN supplies
networking capability to a group of computers in close
proximity to each other such as in an office building, a
school, or a home. A LAN is useful for sharing resources
like files, printers, games or other applications. A LAN in
turn often connects to other LANs, and to the Internet or
Most LANs are built with relatively inexpensive hardware
such as Ethernet cables, network adapters, and hubs.
Wireless LAN and other more advanced LAN hardware options
Specialized operating system software may be used to
configure a LAN. For example, most flavors of Microsoft
Windows provide a software package called Internet
Connection Sharing (ICS) that supports controlled access to
The term LAN party refers to a multiplayer gaming
event where participants bring their own computers and build
a temporary LAN.
Also Known As: local area network
Examples: The most common type of
LAN is an Ethernet LAN. The smallest home LAN can have
exactly two computers; a large LAN can accommodate many
thousands of computers. Many LANs are divided into logical
groups called subnets. An Internet Protocol (IP) "Class A"
LAN can in theory accommodate more than 16 million devices
organized into subnets.