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How Computers Work, Ninth Edition by Timothy Edward Downs, Ron White

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Chapter 24. How Local Area Networks Work

How Local Area Networks Work

A local area network (LAN) is, for many people, the entry point to the Internet. A LAN physically links several PCs to each other and often to a server that hosts shared data or provides access to the Internet. This is accomplished with a variety of materials—twisted-wire cables, fiber optics, phone lines, and even infrared light and radio signals.

Whatever the technology, the goal is the same—to send data from one place to another. Usually, the data is in the form of a message from one computer to another. The message might be a query for data, the reply to another PC’s data request, an instruction to run ...

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