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Weekly Cyber/IT Terminology 4-10-2023

LAN (Local Area Network)

A type of computer network that is designed to connect devices within a small geographical area, such as a home, office, or school. The devices that can be connected to a LAN include personal computers, laptops, servers, printers, and other peripherals.

The purpose of a LAN is to facilitate the sharing of resources such as files, printers, and internet access among the devices on the network. By connecting devices in a LAN, users can easily communicate with each other, share information and collaborate on projects without having to physically move from one location to another.

A LAN typically consists of a central device, such as a router or switch, that acts as a hub to connect the various devices on the network. The devices are usually connected using Ethernet cables or wireless through Wi-Fi.

WAN (Wide Area Network)

A type of computer network that connects devices over a larger geographical area, such as a city, state, country, or even between continents. WANs are designed to allow devices to communicate with each other over long distances, and typically consist of multiple LANs connected together.

WANs are used to connect devices across large distances and to facilitate communication between geographically dispersed locations. For example, a company with offices in different cities or countries may use a WAN to connect their employees and enable them to collaborate and share resources.

Unlike LANs, which typically use wired connections like Ethernet cables or wireless connections like Wi-Fi, WANs often use specialized technologies like T1 lines, satellite links, or fiber optic cables to provide high-speed connectivity over long distances.

WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network)

a type of LAN (Local Area Network) that uses wireless technology to connect devices. In a WLAN, devices are connected to the network through wireless access points (WAPs) instead of Ethernet cables. This makes it possible for devices to connect to the network without being physically tethered to a specific location or point of connection.

WLANs use a wireless standard called Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity) to transmit data between devices. Wi-Fi uses radio waves to transmit information between devices and access points, allowing devices to connect to the network without the need for physical cables.

WLANs are commonly used in a variety of settings, including homes, offices, schools, and public spaces. They are particularly useful in situations where it may be impractical or impossible to run Ethernet cables, such as in historic buildings or outdoor spaces.


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