Networking – LAN/WAN

Websites to support your knowledge

What is a network – do we need them?

A network is two or more computers (or other electronic devices) that are connected together, usually by cables or Wi-Fi.

Advantages of a Network?

A network allows you to share devices. Think about what happens in your school.

  • Everyone can share the printer
  • You can log onto any computer in any classroom and access your files
  • The school only has 1 internet connection – this is shared for every device

Disadvantages of a network?

  • Maintain – People get paid in the school to ensure the network is working this costs money. Equipment often has to be replaced
  • Privacy – Your data is being shared with other computers it makes it easier for your data to be seen by others.
  • Setup Cost – Computers do not do this automatically you need to buy hardware to make this happen

Task 1

A) Make a list of all the devices that maybe connected together in your house.

Think about all the devices that are connected wired or wireless?

B) What are the advantages of these devices being connected in a LAN.

What do you often do on these devices the most?

C) Give 1 disadvantage of having all these devices connected together.

When you send an email or upload a picture – how many different devices might your data go through?


Local area Network: 

This is a network where a group of devices (nodes) are connected in a local geographical area. This means in a building and someone is responsible for the network. It is created so data/hardware can be shared

  • Home
  • Shops
  • Schools

Wide area Network:

 This network is a group of networks connected over a wider geographical area spreading over entire countries or continents. This means a collection of networks not owned by a single company/person

  • The internet
  • Mobile 4G network

Task 2

A) Describe why your school network would be classed as a LAN

The school network is a small geographical area, the school also owns all its own hardware.

B) Give 3 examples of different LAN’s you may have connected to – use the internet to help you

Anywhere business that has public WiFi access would be a LAN for example, Hotels, Shops, Schools

C) What hardware is shared in your school and house?

In school the computers in each room are connected together including the teacher PC. There are printers that any computer / device can send data to.

At home telephones, tablets, laptops, smart TV (most SMART devices)

Extended learning

There are more than 2 types of network. Using the internet research different types of networks the site below will support you.

Test your knowledge – Click for the Quiz