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Local Area Network. A group of computers or devices connected to each other in a small area like an office, a building, or a campus. This shared high-speed network allows the sharing of resources and data, including telephone services, files, printers, scanners, and other applications. A LAN is different from a Wide Area Network (WAN), which isn’t bound by a geographic area and is made up of several connected LANs.

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
LAN (noun)
- local area network
LAN (Wikipedia)
A conceptual diagram of a local area network using bus network topology.

A local area network (LAN) is a computer network that interconnects computers within a limited area such as a residence, school, laboratory, university campus or office building. By contrast, a wide area network (WAN) not only covers a larger geographic distance, but also generally involves leased telecommunication circuits.

Ethernet and Wi-Fi are the two most common technologies in use for local area networks. Historical network technologies include ARCNET, Token ring, and AppleTalk.

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