Local Area Network Advantages
Comprising a group of computers and/or mobile devices joined to a server, a local area network (LAN) helps businesses, schools and other organizations conduct daily operations. Setting up a secure and reliable local area network benefits not only you and your employees, but also your customers and business partners. Below is a list of local area network advantages/disadvantages to consider when setting up your office.
Compared to a wide area network, a LAN connection is relatively inexpensive to set up and maintain. A WAN, or wide area network requires substantial investment, whether it be private ownership or leasing from a telecommunications provider. The local nature of a LAN also makes troubleshooting quick and cost-effective.
Ease of Setup
To set up a LAN, all you need is internet service and a server, or central hub. This hub can be a main computer or a router. From there, you can connect devices using Ethernet cables or wirelessly via Wi-Fi transmission. There is no limit to the number of users you can add to a LAN, and multiple LANs can be joined across multiple office locations to create a larger virtual LAN.
A LAN is very adaptable. As employees get shuffled between teams and departments and new hires come on board, a LAN ensures that every user and every machine stays connected. You can add or remove devices, move printers and computers to different areas of the building, and modify user information for existing devices with minimum hassle. This versatility is essential in today's fast-paced business world.
Speaking of fast-paced, modern LAN speeds can easily reach or exceed 1 Gbps, several times faster than the average WAN. From sharing files to uploading and downloading to high-definition streaming, applications and videoconferencing, a LAN provides all users with the speed needed to conduct even the most data-intensive tasks.
Operating a LAN can make your enterprise more productive in several ways:
- Faster, more personalized service to customers via email, web forms or chat.
- On-site and remote access to all business applications and business data.
- Easy meeting scheduling and videoconferencing.
- Real-time insight into business performance to help with decision-making.
A LAN can be easily monitored by a small information technology team. If you use a router, you will have a built-in firewall. All devices must provide a valid username and password, which can be encrypted, to access the network. Automated backups to the server or to the cloud can be scheduled to further safeguard your information for disaster recovery or when traveling.
Local Area Network Advantages: The Bottom Line
The key takeaway is that in today's internet-driven world, every business needs a reliable network to send and receive data internally and externally. A LAN connects users within a single building or multiple buildings that are close together. As your business expands, for example, if you open up offices in other cities, states or even countries, you will need to set up a LAN at each location, all of which can then be connected to a WAN. Most importantly, you should choose a reliable internet service provider that offers 24/7 support.
Get a quick overview of the using a local area network connection for your business with this easy-to-read infographic from Cable ONE Business. Download here.
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