LAN (Local Area Network)

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LAN stands for Local Area Network. It's a group of computers which all belong to the same organization, and which are linked within a small geographic area using a network, often with the same technology (the most widespread being Ethernet).

A local area network is a network in its simplest form. Data transfer speeds over a local area network can reach up to 10 Mbps (such as for an Ethernet network) and 1 Gbps (as with FDDI or Gigabit Ethernet). A local area network can reach as many as 100, or even 1000, users.

By expanding the definition of a LAN to the services that it provides, two different operating modes can be defined:

  • In a "peer-to-peer" network (P2P for short), in which communication is carried out from one computer to another, without a central computer, and where each computer has the same role.
  • in a "client/server" environment, in which a central computer provides network services to users.
Jean-François Pillou

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