Local Area Networks (LANs) Essay

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Local area networks (LANs).


The concept of local area networks (LANs) is not new. It represents a logical development of computer technology. With the advent of microcomputers in the 1980s many office workers began bringing their own disks into work, compromising data integrity. They also began keeping their own databases, which companies did not like. The answer was to create a computer network.

A computer network is a group of computers connected together enabling users to share resources and communicate with each other. Resources can be hardware, software, or data. Without a network, each employee might require a dedicated printer connected to his workstation or individual copies of application software
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The cost for each wireless node is generally higher than a conventional LAN node.

LAN devices

Today, LANs use sophisticated programs that permit several users to work with the same resources at the same time. This can include hard disk drives, printers, plotters, software, etc. LANs are composed of various components performing specific tasks so each user can access shared resources. Generally, every component in a network is called a node. Each node is further identified by the specific task it performs. A user's node is called a terminal or a workstation. This can be a
"dumb" device, meaning it has no operating system, just a monitor and keyboard, or a "smart" node, meaning it can do it's own computing because of an internal central processor.

A server is a node on the network that provides services to the users of that network. A server will manage hardware and software resources or monitor the exchange of information through a network. Each server will respond to the requests of a user and provide a service, like printing a document or retrieving a stored file. There are two basic types of servers: Dedicated and Non-dedicated. A dedicated server performs a specific task or function all the time where as a non-dedicated server functions in other capacities. A network with servers that are strictly dedicated is called a Client-Server Network.
A network where services are provided by user's
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