What are LAN networks?

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LAN networks (Local Area Networks) are a fundamental part of the technological infrastructure for communication and data transmission in the digital world. The following explains what LAN networks are and how they work.

What is a LAN Network?

A LAN is a communication network that covers a relatively small geographic area, such as a home, office, school, or building. Its main purpose is to allow multiple devices to connect to each other efficiently and share resources, such as printers, files, and Internet access.

Elements of a LAN network

LAN networks require the following elements:

-Terminals: They are the devices that connect to the network, such as computers, tablets, smartphones and servers. Each device on a LAN has a network card or adapter that allows it to connect to the network.

-Media of transmission: LANs can use various transmission media to connect devices. The most common means are Ethernet cables and wireless (Wi-Fi) connections.

-Switches and Routers: Switches are devices that act as connection hubs on a LAN and direct data traffic to the appropriate devices. Routers, on the other hand, connect different LANs and manage traffic between them, allowing communication with external networks, such as the Internet.

-Communication protocols: LAN networks use specific protocols to regulate communication between devices. The most common protocol is Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), which is the universal language of the Internet.

Types of LAN networks

There are several types of LAN networks, each with its own characteristics:

-Wired Ethernet: Networks of this type use Ethernet cables to connect devices. It’s fast and secure, but may require physical installation.

-Wi-Fi (wireless networks): Use wireless connections to connect devices. Provides flexibility, but can be slower than wired Ethernet.

-Peer-to-Peer Networks: In these networks, all devices have equality and can act as servers or clients. They are common in homes and small businesses.

-Client-Server Networks: In these networks, a central server provides services and resources to multiple clients. They are typical in larger companies and organizations.

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