A local area network (LAN) can be described as cluster of computers as well as linked devices to facilitate sharing of common communication lines by means of a wireless connection. It shares information as well as resources to two or more groups of computers.

In the 1960s, the high demand and usage of computers in most universities and research laboratories created the necessity to supply high speed interconnections among systems of computers in a geographic spot that is smaller in area.  It was in 1970 that the growth and the start of network linking were given light through the research of Lawrence Radiation Laboratory entitled “octopus network”.

basic local area network setup

There are actually several local area networks that have been developed, some of these were not used successfully in commercial settings like the:

  • Cambridge Ring, which was developed in 1977 at the Cambridge University, but was not launched successfully for commercial usage.
  • The Datapoint Corporation in 1976 created the ARCNET, but it was only released commercially in New York at the Chase Manhattan Bank on December 1977.
  • Ethernet and Wi-Fi are the two major technologies that are being used these days in local area network connections. In 1973 to 1975, Ethernet was created at Xerox PARC with the U.S. Patent 4063220. To make two short Ethernet network cables become one single long cable, an RJ45 coupler is needed. This computer accessory puts together the two wires of the Ethernet plugs for added length since the plugs do not match as male-to-female components.

The Wi-Fi technology is among one of the most famous technologies that allows exchanges of data wirelessly in an electronic device by means of radio waves on the computer local area network that includes a high speed internet connection. The Wi-Fi term was first commercially used on August 1999. It was the Interbrand Corporation, a brand consulting company that coined the name Wi-Fi, short for Wireless Fidelity. However, it was Vic Hayes that is known as the “Father of Wi-Fi” since he was the man who involved himself greatly in the planning and designing of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) initial standard.

uses and functions of local area network

Wi-Fi provides the cheapest and hassle free operations of local area networks, especially for outdoor areas as well as commercial and historical buildings—places where running cable wires for area network connection is a big challenge.

Most laptops that are being sold in the market today have built-in adapters for wireless networks. Thus, the prices of Wi-Fi chipsets continuously drop, making Wi-Fi as the most economical local area network connection option in many devices.