Advantages Of LANs
Advantages of connecting computers in a LAN:
- Workstations can share peripheral devices like printers. This is cheaper than buying a printer for every workstation.
- Workstations do not necessarily need their own hard disk or CD-ROM drives which make them cheaper to buy than stand-alone PCs. Users can save their work centrally on the network file server. This means that they can retrieve their work from any workstation on the network. They do not need to go back to the same workstation all the time.
- Users can communicate with each other and transfer data between workstations very easily. One copy of each application package such as a word processor, spreadsheet etc, can be loaded onto the file and shared by all users. When a new version comes out, it only has to be loaded onto the server instead of onto every workstation.
Disadvantages Of LANs
Disadvantages of connecting computers in a LAN:
- Special security measures are needed to stop users from using programs and data that they should not have access to.
- Networks are difficult to set up and need to be maintained by skilled technicians.
- If the file server develops a serious fault, all the users are affected, rather than just one user in the case of a stand-alone machine.
- Wired and therefore more difficult to setup. Drilling holes in wall, running cables in lofts etc, fitting sockets and redecorating. More expensive to set up. More time consuming to set up. Not as flexible, can only use where there is a socket - cannot use outside for example.
- Wired systems cannot be used in listed buildings.