Before we move to advantages and disadvantages of LAN, first we discuss about what is LAN.
Local area network is referred to by its abbreviation, LAN. A system that connects PCs and other computer hardware is called a local area network. Game consoles, printers, and scanners are a few examples of computer peripherals. Computers within an apartment are frequently connected via a local area network.
LAN can be compared to a toy train which has several carriages attached to each other and travels on a circular line in only one direction.
Similarly, LAN designates a system that links several computers together within a specific physical area. In the context of LAN, a group of computers is analogous to a train, and the network is analogous to a section of the track. That’s why, computers cannot travel outside the network or beyond the track.
To connect computers, people need wires and technological gadgets. Good examples of communication hardware include hubs, switches, and routers.
Advantages of LAN
Following are the some advantages or benefits of the Local Area Network (LAN):
1. Simple and Reasonable Cost: Compared to other types of networks, a local area network has the advantage of being quick, simple, and reasonably inexpensive to set up. As a result, if an organization wants to establish a network with flexibility and at a low cost, a local area network is the best option.
2. Collaboration of Resources: Due to local area networks, an organization only uses one printer and scanner, and each user link their desktop to that printer and scanner and send instructions from their machines which significantly saves the cost of the organization. Expensive components, such as printers and scanners, cannot be linked to each desktop because it would be extremely burdensome for the organization.
3. Relationship between Client and Server: A single server may collect or extract all data or information from connected PCs. The client may easily log in and retrieve the information from the system if a machine (Client) requests it. For example, movies and albums can be kept on the server and retrieved by any authorized user (Client computer).
4. Software application access: Software programs may also be shared on the LAN. Any device on a network may use a single licensed program that you incorporate. Since purchasing a license for each device on a network is expensive. So, distributed software is convenient and economical.
5. Data security: Storing information on the server is safer and more secure. You may easily allow or refuse access to certain users, ensuring that only those who have been authorized have access to the network's data. Additionally, you may quickly change or delete any data on a single server machine, and additional devices can access the updated data.
6. Quick communication: Depending on the LAN model and the amount of installed ethernet cabling, systems or devices linked to a LAN can interact directly at very fast speeds.10 Mbps, 100 Mbps, and 1000 Mbps are the most common high speeds. Gigabit Ethernet technology is evolving swiftly.
Disadvantages of LAN
Following are the some disadvantages or limitations of the Local Area Network (LAN):
- The main biggest disadvantage of LAN is that the network cannot be extended to a larger area due to long-distance limitations.
- If the server fails, all devices can be disproportionately impacted: If a hard disc crashes or a file on the server is severely damaged due to some reasons or circumstances, then all the connected devices on LAN cannot run properly and the network may be stop.
- A LAN installation is Challenging and Expensive: As we know specialist software is required to deploy a server. So, setting up a LAN is costly. Furthermore, the cost of purchasing communication hardware, including hubs, switches, routers, and cables is high. A skilled operator or administrator is required to manage and troubleshoot a large LANs in offices and buildings.
- Data Exchange from External Sources: Another problem of LAN is that sending files from outside the network is challenging and time-consuming because not all machines on the network can conveniently handle transportable media like pen drives and CDs. As a result, if you finish any work at home and want to transmit it to the office, you must send it via email. If the amount of information is large, email is not an option; therefore, moving data from home to work will be difficult and time-consuming.