local area network

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local area network (LAN)

a network of PERSONAL COMPUTERS used to undertake routine data processing functions in a business. Over the years these networks have become more complex and to this extent a ‘system crash’ or failure can be highly disruptive and expensive. Old-style PC networks were device-sharing facilities giving people access to a departmental printer or fax. If they went down, people could still carry on working. In modern networks, however, people use PCs to log on to the network for all their software, including word processing and databases, and to access information held on software in other departments. See INFORMATION MANAGEMENT.

local area network (LAN)

a network of computers within an organization, connected by cable or radio signals, to facilitate internal communications. Local area networks can, in turn, be interconnected through the INTERNET.
References in periodicals archive ?
Tellabs (Nasdaq:TLAB) announced on Tuesday that temple, a distribution company that provides connectivity expertise and solutions to the data and telecommunications sectors, has agreed to become an authorised distributor of its Optical LAN solutions.
WiMetrics Corporation is a provider of software-based wireless LAN monitoring and intrusion protection solutions.
"AirDefense continues to lead the market for wireless LAN security and operational support by rising to meet the needs of enterprise wireless LANs," said Jay Chaudhry, CEO of AirDefense.
Like Fujitsu's, Gateway's Tablet PC (www.gateway.com) is a slate with separate keyboard, plus docking station with DVD/CD-RW drive and 802.1 lb wireless LAN, all of which come in a bundle starting at $2,249.
"When you consider that the modern college student is mobile most of the time, investing in a wireless LAN for your campus simply makes sense; you're investing in the technology that suits your users best." Still, as Yanosky points out, you can't just grow a multiple access-point wireless network overnight; the process takes time, planning, and careful execution.
Users bring their own laptop/PDA equipped with LAN card or built in wireless access to log on with specific Internet providers.
Many networks will include ATM LANs for workgroups with exceptional bandwidth or QoS requirements, such as radiology, but the dominant use of cell switches will be in the backbone of the enterprise network.
And, depending on the size or technical status of your organization, all your application programs (such as your word processor or spreadsheet) and the data they generate are stored either on the hard disk inside your computer or on a central, remote computer, called a "server." The server literally- serves up the application or the data you need to work, and the LAN system transports them through its maze of cables to your desktop.
LANs Raise Security Ante Security concerns for computer activity have been sharpened by the advent of terminals and other machines that can be shared by many users.
The gateway software allows the MultiModem LAN to make its internal modem, along with an optional auxiliary modem, available to workstation PCs.
In smaller organizations, which may have, for example, several interconnected LANs, possibly from different vendors and based on different technologies, the LAN administrator may also be the network manager.
There are several different types of LANs, each with varying degrees of complexity and expense.