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Connections for Convenience: The Utility of Local Area Networks

The technology that the world is at present, dealing with, has reduced the understanding of the global village into one of a series of virtual interconnections. The interconnectivity currently experienced necessitates speed, efficiency, accuracy and expansivity in our networks. Which is where a LAN comes in extremely handy. LAN, or local area network, is series of connections between the hardware and software of the computers, devices and other requisite components within a particular area, typically within the radius of 1 km, for the purpose of exchanging information and establishing communication. LANs were first put to use in the early 1960s by universities to categorise and organise student and library data. LAN became prevalent in the business sector in the 1980s, and has been indispensable ever since..

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The architecture of LANs may be of two types, depending on the relationship between the devices in communication with one another. Such a LAN may be of the following two-types: • Peer-to-peer- wherein each device has an equal share in running the network, handling relatively lighter workloads, where resources and data are shared by wired or wireless means through a router. • Client/Server- wherein several devices are connected to a single server which is responsible for running the network, including storage of data files, granting access, and managing traffic, where heavier workloads are manageable, and resources and data are shared between the server and clients over a wireless or cabled connection. LANs that use radio waves over physical coaxial cables, twisted-pair wire or fiber optic cables, are known as wireless LANs or WLANs, and primarily utilize Wi-Fi technology. It is given that the networks protocol is responsible for governing the system of exchange of data, and it is these protocols that determine whether a LAN is client/server or peer-to-peer. The most common types of protocol in are Ethernet, Token Ring, and Fiber Distributed Data Interface. • Ethernet- it finds its most widespread use in office spaces and companies. The transmission mediums largely used are coaxial cables or twisted-pair wires. It usually uses star or bus topology. • Token Ring- it finds usage in the small office or home office area. A token ring is used to allow access to the computers on the network, with the token bit helping in passing on of data. It usually uses star or ring topology. • Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI)- it is relatively usable over long distances as well, and finds utility in online lectures, video conferences, and news companies. It uses optical media such as optical fibers and copper cables for transmission. LAN has occupied an integral part of our professional as well as personal lives, connecting our devices to our convenience. With advancements and tweaks in the efficiency of the local area network, LANs can inevitably transform the way we work, live, and progress..