A local area network allows a group of computers or other devices to share a connection. This connection allows the devices to share a variety of resources. This includes sharing printers and access to the same files and games.
A LAN Is generally confined to devices that are in close proximity to each other. For example, these types of networks are common in homes and offices. In some cases, a LAN consists of as few as two computers, while in other instances, a LAN connects a large number of devices.
The two primary types of LAN systems are those that connect the devices through a cable and those that are wireless. It is also possible to combine these two connection methods. For example, a computer that does not have access to adequate wiring is sometimes connected to a LAN with wireless hardware.
In addition to connecting multiple devices to each other, a LAN is also capable of connecting to other LAN networks. This allows each computer on the LAN access to even more resources. A LAN is sometimes configured to connect with another type of network called a WAN. A WAN is a wide area network that encompass large geographic areas.