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Local Area Network (LAN) Definition, Functions, and Examples

LAN is a type of computer network that is designed to operate in a fairly small and limited area. LAN stands for Local Area Network.

Usually, this LAN network is often found in office complexes, schools, homes, and cafes. Well in addition to LAN, there are also several other types of networks such as MAN and WAN.

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Then, what is the difference between LAN with MAN and WAN? For more details, see the full explanation in the following article, come on!

What is LAN?

LAN is a computer network whose area coverage only covers a local area or is limited. Examples that include LAN networks are computer networks in offices, schools, cafes, private homes, and so on.

Simply put, a LAN is a computer communication system that is limited to a distance of no more than a few kilometers and uses a high-speed connection between 2 and 100 Mbps.

On the LAN, each computer can access the resources on the LAN according to the access granted that has been set previously. LAN allows us to share data or use one printer simultaneously in one.


So, by applying this LAN technology, we no longer need to bother pulling cables to connect computers or other devices, friend!

Difference between LAN, MAN and WAN

Difference between LAN, MAN and WAN
Difference between LAN, MAN and WAN
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In internet network technology, other terms other than LAN are known, namely MAN and WAN. So what’s the difference between the three?


As explained above that Local Area Network or LAN is a computer network where the network can communicate with each other with local area coverage. LAN is a computer communication system that is limited to a distance of no more than a few kilometers and uses a high-speed connection between 2 and 100 Mbps.

Metropolitan Area Network or MAN is a computer network where the network can cover a wider area than a LAN. In addition, MAN also uses more sophisticated technology. MAN network is a combination of several LAN networks which cover up to 10-50 km.

Please read this too What Is MAN Network: Functions, Examples, Strengths & Weaknesses.

An example of applying the MAN network method is a network between offices or agencies that are still in one city. MAN requires telecommunications operators who will be the liaison between computer networks.

While Wide Area Network or WAN is a computer network where the coverage is very wide and can reach one country, friend.

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WAN networks require fiber optic cables (fiber optics), satellites and microwaves. This is what makes WAN networks can be broad in scope, but of course the cost is also very expensive. WAN has a fairly fast transmission speed, starting from 2 Mbps – 625 Mbps or even more.

Also read Understanding Gateways, Functions, and How They Work on Networks

LAN features

Some characteristics of LAN are as follows.

  • LANs are in smaller geographic areas, such as offices, campuses, cafes, schools, and homes.
  • LAN has a high data transfer rate.
  • LAN can function properly without the need for telecommunications lines and does not require internet access.
  • LANs are ideal for private or internal use because they are managed through a local administrator.

LAN network device

LAN network device is a device that we need so that the LAN network can be implemented. What are these devices? Here’s the list, bro.

  • Router
  • Switch
  • Hub
  • Bridge
  • Repeater
  • Network Interface Card
  • UTP cable

LAN network basic components

The basic components of a LAN network are some of the basic components of a network that are arranged in such a way that it can connect several computers. These are some of the basic components of a LAN network.

1. Workstation

Workstation is a host in the form of a computer system.

2. Server

Server is hardware that serves to serve networks and workstations connected to a network.

3. Link

Link is part of a LAN network that has the function of physically connecting equipment such as workstations and servers.

4. Network interface card

A network interface card is an electronic circuit designed specifically to handle network protocols.

5. Network software

Network software is used to run the LAN network so that it works as it should.

LAN function

Basically the function of a LAN is to connect several computers on the network so that our work process becomes easier and faster. But in a LAN network there are several other functions as below.

1. Remote computer

In a LAN network, remote computer activities can be done without having to be connected to the internet. You can take advantage of the Remote Desktop Manager/Connection feature provided by the Microsoft operating system.

2. Connect 2 or more computers

Another function of LAN is that 2 computers can be connected directly using a UTP cable that is connected to both computers. But if you’re going to connect more than 2 computers, you’ll need another device like a Switch or Hub.

3. Transferring files from one computer to another

Furthermore, the function of LAN is that it allows you to move files from one computer to another more easily and simply. This is because a LAN network can transfer data through the sharing method on a computer, so you don’t need to go back and forth to insert a flash disk into a computer or laptop.

4. LAN chatting

LAN is a network that can also be used to send messages between computers and even without an internet connection, friend! This feature is called LAN chat. To do this, there are default Windows operating system applications that you can use, such as winchat.exe or other LAN chat software.

Also read What Is HTTPS, Benefits, How It Works, & How It Differs From HTTP

5. Sharing printer

As explained earlier that the LAN network function is in addition to sharing data, we can also share printers. So this can save costs, after all, how to do it is easy.

LAN topology

The pattern or form of the relationship between nodes in a network is called a topology. Some of the LAN topologies are:

1. Mesh topology

Mesh topology is a network where computers are connected point to point (point to point). So, each device can communicate directly and all computers will be connected one by one without being disconnected.

2. Star topology

A star topology is a network that connects all computers and devices to a switch or hub. This type of topology uses a centralized pattern, so there are computers that function as servers and some act as workstations.

3. Ring topology

A ring topology is a network that connects all computers and devices connected to a cable in a closed loop. This topology uses a network pattern that is not centralized.

4. Bus topology

Bus topology is a type of topology that connects all computers in series with the main cable as a central data traffic. This topology is usually used in small-scale networks where all network devices will be connected by a single cable or commonly called a bus. So that all computers are connected directly with the cable. This topology uses a network pattern that is not centralized.

5. Tree topology

Tree topology is a type of topology that combines bus topology and star topology. This topology is also called a stratified topology because it is used for interconnection between low hierarchies for low locations and high hierarchies for high locations.

Example LAN

Next we discuss some examples of LAN. Examples of LAN are very much found in our daily activities. Anything?

  • Phone
  • Setting router atau access point
  • Internet
  • Sharing data
  • Laptop or PC connection to television

Advantages and disadvantages of LANs

LAN is a network that only covers the local area. Even so, LAN has its own advantages and disadvantages, friend. What are the advantages and disadvantages of LAN?

Advantages of LAN

  • It does not require a large cost, this is because its coverage covers only a small area and does not require expensive devices such as fiber optics or even satellites.
  • Through LAN, we can share resources on each computer and data transfer connections between computers will take place quickly.
  • LAN does not need a telecommunications operator to be able to create a network.
  • Data in the LAN network is centralized and stored on 1 server computer. This server presents data that can be accessed by all computers.

Lack of LAN

  • The connection area is limited.
  • Because every computer can be accessed by every user, the level of security is vulnerable.
  • If a problem occurs on the central server computer, for example, is exposed to a virus, it will affect the entire LAN network.

Also read Check How to Speed ​​Up WiFi Connections on Laptops & Smartphone

LAN installation

Well, below is a LAN installation that you need to know, friend!

Installing UTP cable

Installing a UTP cable is used to create a computer network. The function of this cable is to connect the LAN network in a network system on the computer.

Setting the LAN settings on the computer

How to set the LAN settings on the computer, namely:

  1. First click start in the lower left corner of the pc, click Control panel
  2. Lalu Klik Network Connections
  3. Click Properties
  4. In General Click Internet Protocol, then Internet Protocol Properties will appear
  5. Perform IP address settings, as well as other settings.

Please read this too Bandwidth Definition, Functions, How it Works, and Examples

Configuring IP address

The method:

  1. Right-click the network icon
  2. Setting-IP-01
  • If using wifi the icon will be shaped like a signal / wifi
  • If you use a LAN cable, the icon will look like the following picture:
  1. Pilih “Open Network and Sharing Center”
  2. Setting-IP-02
  3. Then click on the network used
  4. Setting-IP-03
  5. Then select “Details”
  • For method no. 4 & 5, it is only done if there is an internet connection, if not, go directly to step 6.
  1. Setting-IP-04
  2. Then note in the IPv4 Address section
  • At this step it is necessary to record the IP and Gateway, so that you can still connect to the internet
  • Setting-IP-05
  • Select Properties
  1. Setting-IP-06
  2. Select / Double click on “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)”
  3. Setting-IP-07
  4. Then select “Use the following IP address”.
  • If there is an internet connection, you can fill in the IP address, Subnet mask and Default Gateway as listed earlier (at number 5)
  • IP Address:
    Subnet mask:
    Default Gateway:
    And for client settings, you can fill in the same as above, only the IP address can be filled in sequence and so on.
  • When finished, click OK
  • Setting-IP-08
  • Select Ok again., The computer has already been set to IP.

Folder and printer sharing

  1. Open Control Panel
  2. Select the Printer logo then right click on Printer > Select Sharing
  3. Then the Sharing Properties tab will appear. Select the Share this printer checkbox, give it a name and click OK.

Then the second stage, namely setting the printer on the client computer. Here are the steps:

  1. Buka Control Panel > Printer.
  2. On the tab on the left select Add a Printer.
  3. The Add Printer Wizard will open, click Next.
  4. Select the type of printer to be used, make sure to select Network Printer > Next.
  5. Browse the printer on the network, make sure the address is not wrong ending with Next.
  6. The computer will confirm whether this network printer will be the primary printer, select it as needed.
  7. Click Finish and then close all the windows earlier.

That’s an explanation about LAN, a local network that is widely used in schools and offices.

After reading the article above, do you understand better, friend, if it turns out that there are several types of computer networks? For that, let’s increase your knowledge about technology through other reviews from IsTalkingTech.

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Muhamad Nagib
Muhamad Nagib
Information technology writer who has great interest in Windows, MacOS and Linux-based computers as well as Android and iOS smart devices, therefore this website is dedicated to reviewing all information about these operating systems and devices. Learn more.


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