local area network

n. (LAN, abbr.)A collection of computers, printers, storage devices, and other devices connected to allow resource sharing.


LANs are typically installed and maintained within a single organization and normally at a single location. A network covering geographically dispersed sites may be described as a metropolitan area network or a wide area network (WAN). Local area networks may be configured using star, token ring, or other topologies. They may use different networking protocols, such as TCP/IP or IPX/SPX. A LAN may be connected to the Internet, allowing computers and other devices to access - or be accessed via - the Internet.