September 14, 2022
A local area network (or LAN) encompasses computers and other devices that connect to a server together at a specific location whether in an office, commercial environment, or home. Devices use LAN connections to share resources. Usually in a business or home environment more than one computer can connect to the same printer, and this is accomplished via the LAN. Mobile devices and computers can also be connected this way, and a LAN can work for as many users as you need. For example, if you have an office with a hundred staff members, they can all share the same LAN connection.
There are many components that allow people and their devices to connect to internal servers, and these are made up of switches, routers, and cables that connect everyone together. A LAN can transfer your business data far more quickly than an office telephone line can, but there is a limit to the number of computers that can be supported and the distance data can be transferred.
LANs can also connect to other LANs via radio, satellite, and telephone lines, which is called a wide area network (WAN). The biggest WAN in the world is the internet as it connects everyone everywhere. The most significant difference between a LAN and a WAN is that a LAN can be used in a limited area where a WAN can connect a large geographical area. A LAN also uses wires and cables to connect devices, which can be cumbersome, and a WAN does not.
There are a variety of LAN protocols that are popular today, and the most widely used is the Ethernet protocol. Other LAN protocols include:
Ethernet is a widely implemented protocol because of how simple and flexible it is. It's known as the 4th Dimension because it can be talked about as a specific protocol or it can encompass a variety of Ethernet implementations. You can implement the Ethernet protocol without much training, which is one reason many businesses use it as their primary LAN protocol. Small, medium, and large enterprises can scale the Ethernet protocol for their organizations, especially since there are three variants of Ethernet protocol: 10 Mbps, 100 Mbps, and 1000 Mbps.
LAN/WAN Engineers are crucial IT professionals when implementing a new protocol or maintaining existing protocols. These engineers support the local and wide area networks for the business to ensure seamless connectivity. There is a specific skill set required to ensure that the business needs are met, and a LAN/WAN engineer implements their skills and expertise in telecommunications for the best productivity.
These computer network specialists work closely with the rest of the IT team to ensure a solid understanding of their organization’s LAN or WAN. They need good communication skills to interact with other team members and organizations. LAN/WAN Engineers need to be detail-oriented and to work under tight time constraints. Additional skills and qualities they should have are:
Your LAN/WAN engineer should also be proactive with their expertise to avoid future problems and have experience using governance skills that will enable them to keep the team performing at a high level.
First, you need the right equipment to set up your LAN. This includes:
Begin by plugging in the network router and turning it on. If it's a new router, follow the steps in the instructions to get it ready for use.
If your router is new, you need to set up your computer to connect to the router, and you can do this via the Ethernet cable. A Windows PC should automatically prompt you with a setup wizard for your first connection, but you can find it in the Network and Sharing Center in the Settings > Network & Internet area in the Control Panel. On a Mac system, access System Preferences to set up your router.
The automatic setup wizard should take you step-by-step through the process so the internet is up and ready to go. Once you have the Wi-Fi working, the devices connected to the Ethernet cables should be able to run on the internet.
Every device connected to the LAN needs to be set up with passwords to connect successfully to the internet. Make sure you password protect the devices and have the right firewalls running for security.
Any printers or mobile devices that require an internet connection can be connected to the LAN. Once you have the LAN installed correctly, connecting the remaining devices should be straight-forward as well.
If you are in the market for on-demand LAN installation, consider how Field Engineer can help. With the best LAN engineers available now, you can enjoy a well-connected business that remains efficient. Contact us today, and let's talk about how we can help.