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Computing Studies



A local area network (LAN) is two or more connected computers in a room or building. A wide area network (WAN) covers a large geographical area such as a country or continent.

LANs and WANs


There are two types of network:

  • LAN - Local Area Network
  • WAN - Wide Area Network

Local Area Network (LAN)

A Local Area Network (LAN) is two or more connected computers in a room or building.

A local area network (LAN) has several benefits such as:

  • you can share peripherals like expensive laser printers
  • a fileserver can be used to store and share documents and files centrally
  • electronic messages (email) can be sent between computers
  • the computers on the network can be centrally managed

Wide Area Network (WAN)

A WAN is a Wide Area Network covering a large geographical area such as a city, country or continent.

This could be a network of school computers across a city or a business that has computers in offices all over Scotland. A wide area network (WAN) has similar advantages to a LAN. The major advantage is that it has a much wider geographical coverage for accessing files and sending emails.


Video clip - LAN and WAN

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A picture of jumbled wires that form a local area network.

Class Clips

Video clip about LANs and WANs

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