Glossary definition of Local Area Network

Also known as: LAN

Local Area Network (LAN) is a data communication system that allows a group of computers to interconnect and intercommunicate, and thus enables them to pool their resources and share files, data storage, printers, and other connected devices. A LAN usually operates within a small geographical area, or even within just one building, and the network is typically limited to distances of less than 500 metres.

A LAN can provide a business solution for organisations needing low-cost, high-bandwidth networking capabilities. A piece of hardware equipment (called a hub) acts as the common wiring point, so that data to be sent between machines connected to the network. There are many different types of LAN technology; Ethernet is one of the most commonly used forms.