index > 2.1.6 Computer communications and networking


LAN (Local Area Network): Computers are connected to each other in a small geographical area with dedicate sires or WiFi connections.

LANs are often maintained by the owner and are used in schools, homes, offices and shops.

Advantages Disadvantages
Easy to share information. Can be expensive to set up. Costs of hardware and cabling and hosting.
Easy to share hardware like printers. Requires expertise to setup and maintain.
Computers can be easily monitored. Security issues as there can be unauthorised access to data.


WAN (Wide Area Network): Computers are connected to each other in a large geographical area which may be a city or the world. The internet is the largest WAN. WANs are often a collection of LANs are make use of publicly available telecoms facilities. They allow businesses to function from any location and allow for easy communication between all people from around the world.

Advantages Disadvantages
Allows for much larger and more intricate networks. Very expensive to actually setup.
Works in a very large area. Can be slow depending on internet speed.
Gives more people access to data. Still not accessible to everyone.