Local Area Network. A computer network that covers a physically small area. Most LANs are just a few computers connected together within a home or business.

Ethernet is the dominant technology in use for LANs due to simplicity and low cost. However, LANs can vary in any of three ways: topology, protocols, and media.


Local Area Wireless Network. An amusing spelling of WLAN.


A period of time for which a computer is allowed to use a certain IP address.

Leases are obtained from DHCP servers when a computer connects to the Internet. They are usually time-limited. At the end of this period, the DHCP server must be recontacted either to renew the existing lease or to obtain a lease on a new IP address.


An open-source operating system derived from UNIX. Known for its efficiency, security, and networking capability, Linux has grown in popularity over the last few years. One of its more useful features is IP masquerading, a technology similar to NAT.