local area network [LAN]

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(n.) Any physical network technology that operates at high speeds over short distances, such as several thousand yards. Technologies that play roles in a LAN include Ethernet, token ring, Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM), Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) II, 10BASE-T, and Systems Network Architecture (SNA). The system of cables and interfaces controlled by a communications protocol that connects microcomputers for sharing resources and peripherals is all part of the LAN. Connection is also possible with an infrared link. Compare wide area network.