As Wikipedia defines it, a local area network (LAN) is a network that connects computers and devices in a limited geographical area such as home, school, computer laboratory, office building, or closely positioned group of buildings. Each computer or device on the network is a node.
Current wired LANs are typically based on Ethernet technology; new standards also provide a way to create a wired LAN using existing wires (coaxial cables, phone lines and power lines).
The defining characteristics of LANs, in contrast to WANs (Wide Area Networks), include their higher data transfer rates, smaller geographic range, and no need for leased telecommunication lines. Current Ethernet or other IEEE 802.3 LAN technologies operate at speeds up to 10 Gbit per second data transfer rate. IEEE has projects investigating the standardization of 40 and 100 Gbit/s.
LANs can be connected to Wide area network by using routers.