A local area network (LAN) is
||[a] data communication system that:
- (a) Allows an arbitrary number of independent "data devices" to communicate directly with each other; and
- (b) Is confined to a geographical area of moderate size (e.g., office building, plant, campus, warehouse).
"Typically, a LAN is owned, operated, and managed locally rather than by a common carrier. A LAN usually, through a common network operating system, connects servers, workstations, printers, and mass storage devices, enabling users to share the resources and functionality provided by a LAN."