A local area network (LAN) is a computer network covering a small physical area, like a home, office, or small group of buildings,such as a school, or an airport. The defining characteristics of LANs, in contrast to wide-area networks (WANs), include their usually higher data-transfer rates, smaller geographic area, and lack of aneed for leased telecommunication lines.
ARCNET, Token Ring and many other technologies have been used in the past, and G.hn may be used in the future, but Ethernet over twisted pair cabling, andWi-Fi are the two most common technologies currently in use.
1.1 Standards evolution
2 Technical aspects
3 See also
5 External links History
As larger universities and research labs obtained more computers during the late 1960s, there was an increasing pressure to provide high-speed interconnections. A report in 1970from the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory detailing the growth of their "Octopus" network gives a good indication of the situation.
Cambridge Ring was developed at Cambridge University in 1974but was never developed into a successful commercial product.
Ethernet was developed at Xerox PARC in 1973–1975, and filed as U.S. Patent 4,063,220. In 1976, after the system was deployed atPARC, Metcalfe and Boggs published their seminal paper, "Ethernet: Distributed Packet-Switching For Local Computer Networks."
ARCNET was developed by Datapoint Corporation in 1976 and announced in1977. It had the first commercial installation in December 1977 at Chase Manhattan Bank in New York.
 Standards evolution
The development and proliferation of CP/M-based personalcomputers from the late 1970s and then DOS-based personal computers from 1981 meant that a single site began to have dozens or even hundreds of computers. The initial attraction of networking these was...