What is the range of a LAN

Overview of network types: WAN, MAN, LAN & GAN

If several computers are to be connected to a network, this is usually done in the form of a local area network (LAN). Such a local area network can comprise two computers in a private household or several thousand devices in a company. Networks in public institutions such as authorities, schools or universities are also implemented as LANs. A widespread standard for wired local area networks is Ethernet. Networking technologies such as ARCNET, FDDI and Token Ring are less common and largely out of date. The data is transmitted either electronically based on copper cables or about one Optical fiber made of glass fiber.

If more than two computers are connected in a LAN, additional network components such as hubs, bridges and switches are required, which act as coupling elements and distribution nodes. The LAN network type was developed to provide a fast transfer of large amounts of data to enable. Depending on the structure of the network and the transmission medium used, a data throughput of 10 to 1,000 Mbit / s is common. LANs allow a convenient exchange of information between the various devices connected in the network. In the corporate context, it is common to provide multiple work computers with shared file servers, network printers or applications via LAN.

If a local network is implemented via radio, one speaks of a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN). The technical principles of the WLAN standard are defined by the IEEE 802.11 family of standards. Wireless local networks offer the possibility of conveniently integrating end devices into a home or company network and are compatible with wired Ethernet LANs. However, the data throughput is lower than with an Ethernet connection.

The range of a LAN depends on the standard used and the transmission medium, but can be increased by using signal amplifiers, so-called repeaters. With Gigabit Ethernet over fiber optics, a signal range of several kilometers is possible. Local area networks, however, rarely extend over more than one building complex. Several LANs in geographical proximity can be connected to form a higher-level Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) or Wide Area Network (WAN).