Understanding LAN: Purpose, Functions, Components, and How to Build

Meaning of LAN – The era that continues to develop rapidly brings forth new things, namely modern technology that is increasingly sophisticated, especially technology in the field of communications. The rapid development of modern technology can be seen from the presence of various innovations in information and communication technology. One of the innovations in information and communication technology is the internet.

The presence of the internet today makes it possible for a person to communicate with everyone in the world. In fact, the communication process can be done in real-time only by using the internet network. This internet network has several terms, among which are LAN, MAN, WAN.

Before going into the discussion about internet networks. We are first on the computer network. What is meant by a computer network? So, a computer network is a group of computer devices that are interconnected with each other so that they can exchange data and communicate with each other. There are various types of computer networks. LAN is one of the types of computer networks that are surveyed based on their geographical reach. Besides LAN, there are other computer networks such as MAN and WAN.

This article will discuss the meaning of LAN, how to build a LAN network, LAN characteristics, the purpose and function of LAN, LAN network components, and the advantages and disadvantages of LAN. Let’s listen, Reader!

What is the meaning of LAN?

LAN stands for Local Area Network (LAN) which is a computer network that covers only the local area. This means that this network can only be used by users in the LAN area. LAN connects devices to the internet network through a simple network device.

This LAN network usually has cables such as UTP, Hub, Switch, or Router. An example of this network is the network of computers in schools, companies, or internet cafes (cafes). This network has a limited area that is usually a LAN network. So, the LAN network has a small (local) scale.

LAN networks are usually used to share resources in a building. A LAN can stand alone, without being connected by an external network or the internet. But, if a LAN is connected to several other LANs, then a new network will be formed, which is called Metropolitan Area Network ( MAN ) .

So it can be understood that LAN is a computer network where the coverage of the network area is very small and limited. A network is also defined as a computer communication system whose distance is limited to no more than a few kilometers. LAN networks use high-speed connections between 2 to 100 Mbps.

How to Build a LAN Network?

How to build a LAN network? LAN networks can be built using wired (cable), wireless (without cable) or both methods. For a wired LAN type built using Ethernet and to build a wireless LAN type using a Wifi signal. LAN is mostly used in homes that use a router to create a network and manage connected devices.

The router here is useful as a connection center and allows devices such as mobile phones, computers, laptops, and tablets to connect to each other. The router is usually connected with a cable or modem that has internet access on the connected devices.

The computer device can also be used as a LAN center. The computer device that will be used as the LAN center acts as a server as well as providing access to share files or programs on connected devices. This has often been applied to networks in offices and institutions.

What are the characteristics of LAN?

LAN as a network that covers the local area has several characteristics that are easy for us to identify. This characteristic will distinguish the LAN network from other networks such as MAN (Metropolitan Area Network) and WAN (Wide Area Network). Here are some of the characteristics of LAN, namely:

  1. The LAN network does not use telecommunication networks from additional operators.
  2. LAN networks are usually used for private purposes.
  3. LAN network administration is done through local administration.
  4. In a LAN network, there is generally one computer that functions as a server that is useful for organizing the system to run normally
  5. LAN networks are on a narrower geographical scope (office areas, campuses, schools, and homes).
  6. LAN has a higher data transfer speed due to its narrow scope
  7. A LAN can function well without a telecommunication line, meaning that a LAN does not require internet access.
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What is the Purpose of a LAN?

There are several purposes of a LAN network, among which are:

  1. Aims to connect several computers in a region that has a small coverage.
  2. Aims to enable communication between computer devices and other devices in a network.
  3. Aiming to speed up the process of sharing data and programs between computers in a network.
  4. Aiming to help save operational costs caused by devices in a network that can be used together (for example: printers, servers, etc.).

What is the Function of LAN?

Basically, LAN has the main function of connecting several computers in a network that will make the work process faster and easier. A LAN network has several specific functions or uses. The following are the functions of a LAN network, among them:

1. Connecting two or even more computers

A LAN network is used to connect two or more computers. Either directly or by using an intermediary media. Two computers can be connected directly by using a UTP cable connected to both computers. Meanwhile, if we want to combine more computers, we need other devices such as Switch or Hub.

2. Works to transfer files from one computer to another

When we use a LAN network, we don’t have to go back and forth to insert a flash disk from one computer to another. By using the LAN network we can easily transfer data through the sharing method on our computers.

3. There is Printer Sharing

In addition to sharing data and transferring files easily, the LAN network we use can also allow users to share printers . This will make it easier for all users and save the cost of using it.

What to do? We can start by sharing the printer driver in the Control Panel . Once shared (to all users), the printer can be used together without having to move the computer or printer . We may often see this LAN function in cafes, computer rentals, or printers . When the file is ready, we can print the file according to the choice of printer that is already available.

4. Availability of LAN Chat

Another function of the LAN network is that it can be used to send messages between computers in the LAN area. This activity can even be done without having to be connected to the internet, although later the LAN network will still be visible online . If we want to run LAN Chatting , we can use built-in Windows applications such as winchat.exe or use other LAN Chatting software .

5. As a Computer Remote

If we want to do remote activities on a computer we can use software like TeamViewer . However, the software can only work when the computer is connected to the internet.

In a LAN network, we can do remote without first being connected to the internet network. We can take advantage of the Remote Desktop Manager/Connection feature provided by Microsoft . We can also control the computer in the LAN network.

What are the Basic Components of a LAN Network?

A LAN network consists of several basic components that are arranged in such a way that they can connect several computers. There are several basic components of a LAN, including the following:

  1. Workstation , is a node/host on a computer system
  2. Server , is a piece of hardware that functions to serve the network and workstations connected to a computer network
  3. Link , is part of the LAN network that physically connects equipment, for example workstations and servers .
  4. Network Interface Card (NIC), is a specially designed electronic network that is useful for dealing with network protocols .
  5. Network Software , is software that plays a role in running the LAN network in order to function as it should

What Are the Advantages of LAN?

LAN networks only have a small area coverage. With its small coverage, of course LAN has its own advantages and disadvantages. Here are the advantages of a LAN network, among others:

1. Can Share Resources

If we use a LAN network, we can easily share resources with other computers. This advantage will make us more efficient. In addition, by sharing resources , we can also save on production costs. Because we no longer need to buy devices such as scanners, printers, or other storage media for each computer. We just need to buy one, then divide it so that it can be accessed on other computers.

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In addition to sharing devices, we can also share software applications with other devices. This is a very effective advantage to simplify the productivity of our time. However, sharing software applications is also not always cheaper compared to installing software one by one on a computer. Because, the product license for each software is still needed during installation.

2. Centralized Data

By using a file server, data on all computers connected to the LAN network will be stored in one place called the server. This advantage will make it easier for users to mutually access files owned by other computers. In addition, the advantage of this centralized data also helps to back up user data if an error occurs, thus causing the deletion of data on the user’s computer.

If a data is shared in a network, users who have access can see the data at the same time. However, they cannot edit the same recording at the same time.

When a recording is edited by a user, the recording will be locked so that other users cannot edit it at the same time. If the user has finished editing and saving the results, then the recording will open again. That has the purpose of avoiding confusion that could happen when several people try to edit at the same time.

The reach that only covers a small area results in the LAN not draining too much of its user fees. In addition, the cable used is not too long. Of course, this is one of the reasons why LAN saves more money.

3. Data connection between nodes will take place quickly

4. A LAN network does not require a telecommunications operator to be able to create a network

What Are the Disadvantages of LAN Networks?

Whenever there is an advantage, there must be a disadvantage. As for the shortcomings of the LAN network, namely:

1. Vulnerable Peace

In a computer network, security is a very vital thing that must be observed, as well as in a LAN network. Here, network administrators in particular play an important role in preventing unauthorized users from accessing data on the network.

The other factor that affects the security of the LAN network is the user himself. This is because it does not cover the possibility that the user we have is unable to keep the password secret , or it may be that the password he has is too easy for other users to guess, so that this causes unauthorized users to easily break into the network through the previous user. .

2. There is a problem on the central server

The emergence of a problem on the central server can have fatal consequences on the LAN network. This can affect the entire computer network, even causing the computer to not be able to communicate with other computers properly.

Virus infection is one example of a problem that can occur on the central server. This virus infection can occur on one computer and spread to all computers through the central server, this is because all the data on the centralized user is on the server.

3. Installation is quite expensive

Installation on a LAN network can be expensive depending on the needs and conditions in the field. The type of topology that we will use also affects the cost that will be incurred. For a wired LAN network (cable), we must first make a cable strip by drilling a hole in the wall or putting it under the floor, then connect the cable.

On a wireless LAN network, we don’t need to use cables. However, the coverage area of ​​the wireless is limited. Thus, we need a device to amplify the signal, which of course will increase the cost of production.

4. The connection area is limited

Of course this shortcoming is because the LAN network only covers the local area.

Book Recommendations About LAN

There are several books or reading references that Reader can read about LAN, namely:

1. Easy Steps to Build a Computer Network (2021) by Zaenal Arifin

This book is suitable to read for Reader, this book discusses how easy steps to build a computer network. Presented in simple and easy-to-understand language, this book is suitable as an introduction and learning reference for beginners who want to start trying to build a computer network.

2. Dictionary ++ Computer Network (2021) by Budi Sutedjo

This book written by Budi Sutedjo can be read by Reader if you want to know the basics about computer networks. This book is a complete dictionary of computer networks, for Reader who are still confused by terms and methods in the world of computer networks, this book will be very helpful.

3. Complete Guide to Building Your Own Computer Network System (2021) by Madcoms

After reading this book written by Madcoms, the reader is expected to be able to recognize network hardware and perform configuration to build a computer network. This book published in 2021 is complete with many pictures about network hardware and illustrations of the configuration process to help readers understand the language in this book.

Such is the article about the meaning of the internet and its complete discussion. Hope it’s useful, Reader!