Local area network
Local Area Networks (LAN) are networks used to connect a number of devices that are located within a relatively small area, typically within a single building, using a privately owned network. This is as opposed to Wide Area Networks (WAN) which are used to connect devices across a large distance, such as across a city, using a dedicated connection that is provided by a network provider.
Originally driven by the growth in the use of personal computers and the need to share storage devices and printers, the evolution of local area networks was initially hampered by the proliferation of different types of LAN and a lack of standards. Ethernet is now the most widely used standard, and local area networks have become a means of communication between users as well as devices.
Ethernet originally used coaxial cable, but now commonly uses twisted-pair copper cable such as CAT5 or fibre optic cable. Wireless local area networks (WLAN) were developed for situations where cabling would have been difficult to install. However, a rapid reduction in cost and increase in speed means that wireless local area networks are now commonly available and are preferred in many situations because of the freedom they offer. Typically wireless local area networks use radio waves (such as WiFi) to connect devices.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Approved document R.
- Building information modelling.
- Common data environment.
- Computers in building design.
- ICT and Automation (ICTA) Scoping Study Report.
- In-building wireless.
- Information and communications technology.
- Internet of things.
- Power over ethernet.
- Project extranet.
- Smart buildings.
- Smart cities.
Featured articles and news
UK-GBC green paper proposes more powers for cities on new-build housing.
The Pompidou Centre – not a monument but an event.
The Chartered Institute of Building restructures and launches 29 new local hubs.
Designing Buildings Wiki talks to the founder of the world's first indoor biophilic gym, now open in London.
£1.3bn Swansea Bay project to be backed as a 'pathfinder' for other tidal lagoon projects.
Designs released for a proposed Las Vegas stadium to entice the Oakland Raiders.
Have a look at these award-winning concept designs for a thermal bath in Latvia.
Flagship project no longer "a going concern" according to the Garden Bridge Trust as funding slows.
How the work of 20th century urbanist Jane Jacobs continues to resonate in light of the government's garden village plans.
New landmark for the Ecuadorean capital of Quito utilises a sinuous facade mold system.
Have a look at this glass piano and violin building in China.