Network Topologies, WANS and LANS
LAN - Local area network
WAN - Wide area network
A LAN covers a small area such as one site or building.
A WAN covers a large geographical area. Most WAN's are made from several LAN's connected together.
Advantages of networks
- You can share devices like printers - which saves money.
- Software will be cheaper when buying for a network of computers.
- Within a network files can be shared and you can communicate through email and instant messenger.
- Data is easy to backup and is stored on the file server.
Disadvantage of networks
- Purchasing all the equipment needed can be expensive.
- It can be very complicated organizing the network and keeping it running.
- If the file server breaks down you can' access the files on the server. The computers won't be connected anymore.
- Viruses can spread to other computers through the network.
- It is easy to set up and manage.
- It is best suited for small networks.
- It transfers data quickly even if there are a large number of device because the data only flows in one direction so data collisions won't happen.
- Very reliable- if one connection fails then the others will still work.
- Transfers data quickly as there won't be any collisions.
- The cable length is limited, this limits the numbers of stations that can be connected.
- Can only perform well for a limited number of stations.
- If the main cable fails or any device is faulty the whole network will fail.
- Expensive to install- as it requires the most cable.
- Extra hardware required- hubs or switches cost extra.
- If the hub or switch fails then all the devices connected to it will have no network connection.