Local Area Network or most popularly known as LAN is a group of computers and devices that are connected each other and are located in the same area. The typical Lan consists of two or more computers, printers, and a large hard disk drive, that is called server. Mostly every LAN should have a server. It should be used for uploading and downloading movies, mp3s, games. Unfortunately if you are apart from a big LAN this Server may not be free. You have to pay some money for that prevelegue. Users can also use the LAN to communicate with each other, by sending e-mail or engaging in chat sessions. Some other benefit is that people can share expensive devices like laser printers, or programs. Can you imagine if in a large company there is only one printer, and how difficult it will be for anyone to use it. Now by using LAN you can share this printer.You can also share your internet connection. You can install only one program and all other computers in the LAN will be possible to surf in the world wide web. It is mostly used in the internet clubs , where one router share to all computers internet. The most widespread benefit is that you can play games via LAN. Nowadays there are too many internet and game clubs that are connected each other so everyone can play against anyone.
Software requirements: There are LAN operating systems that allows users to communicate with other users. These are Microsoft Windows NT, Apple Macintosh, Linux , etc. Some of them are mainly created for Networks. When two computers try to communicate an address protocol is necessery. Each computer must have an address protocol. To transfer all kind of data you should enter an TCP which means - TRANSMISSION CONTROL PROTOCOL. If you want to be able to share something , you must install another service - named "File and Printer Sharing".
Hardware Requirements: Each computers must have an ethernet adapter, or also known as PCI ethernet controller.