Local Area Network (LAN)

Local Area Network

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Local Area Network (LAN)

Introduction and brief history or background of the topic

Local area networks (LAN) enable connectivity of several computers within a defined geographical space. They are used in homes, hospitals, campuses, labs, and other buildings. The use of LANs makes it possible to share files, games, and other applications. The minimum number of computers is two. Universities were the first to use LANs in 1960s. Xerox PARC developed Ethernet in 1970s (ISRD, 2006). The use of LANs appealed to many people because they could share data and devices such as printers and this made it cost effective for offices, schools, and other institutions. Most LANs use wired technology, especially Ethernet. However, today, many people are opting for wireless technology, specifically Wi-Fi to connect their devices. Since its development, manufacturers have found ways of improving on the different technologies by finding ways of increasing speed and making the other devices more effective. They have improved on the Ethernet, routers, hubs, and switches. Wired technologies are more secure and reliable. However, they can be costly and time consuming to install. Wired LANs have to use other devices such as routers, hubs, and switches if many computers are connected. Installing the Ethernet cables can be challenging as this means running the cables through the floor or walls.

Wireless LANs can transmit data and receive data over water, air, and in vacuum. They can function as an alternative to wired LAN or as an extension of the existing LAN. Wireless LANs have become more common today because many people are using portable digital devices. They want to continue working and taking advantage of the networking benefits. When using wireless LAN, one does not have to worry about installations. When wireless LANs were first used in the early nineties, they did not appeal to many people because they were slow, bulky, and expensive. In the late nineties, the technology developed and this made it possible for people to share broadband internet connections and voice over internet protocol phones, home automation appliances, gaming consoles, as well as media streamers. This popularized Wi-Fi technology (Negus & Petrick, 2008).

Research Question

The main purpose of my research is to find ways of improving security in wireless networks. Even as more people opt to using Wi-Fi instead of Ethernet, security remains one of the major concerns. People have developed the habit of storing their most important information on their devices. Therefore, when a hacker accesses the computer, he or she could steal vital information. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the network is as secure as possible. The research question is, what measures can wireless LAN users take to ensure that they improve security when they are on the network?

Research Methodology

I will mostly depend on secondary sources for my paper. Many people have written about the issue and I believe that the sources contain credible and reliable information. I will use the internet, journal articles from peer reviewed sources, as well as books. Depending on several sources will ensure that I have a way of verifying the information I get. This is important, especially when using the internet. Anyone can post anything on websites and some of the people who write articles on the internet have not conducted sufficient research. This indicates the importance of verification. The internet is a good way of finding general information but I will not rely on it for my research. I will mostly focus on technical and communication journals for my research.  


ISRD (2006). Data Communication and networks (Isrd). New Delhi, India: Tata McGraw-Hill Education

Negus, J. K., & Petrick, A. (2008). History of wireless local area networks (WLANs) in the unlicensed bands. Retrieved from http://iep.clemson.edu/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/WLAN_History_Paper.pdf

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