Local area networks let families, school, businesses and other entities connect their computers, but they are complex. They make administration simple, and they are customizable. However, they can be difficult to secure appropriately.
In many ways, LANs are similar to the Internet as a whole. They are built on open standards, and the lack of proprietary software and communication standards means that licenses and other costs are not required. Their technology has been proven to be scalable and durable, and few believe they will be replaced by other technology.
Their flexibility, however, also makes them complex, and medium and large networks generally require expert maintenance. The setup process, in particular, is daunting. LAN technology was designed to scale to large networks, and setting it up requires knowing a number of IT topics that require significant experience. Many experts argue, however, that this complexity is unavoidable. There are tutorials that help lay people set up basic functional networks.
The technology used in LANs is designed to be open, which sometimes leads to security problems. By default, all network requests are sent, and vulnerable computers are easy to target. If a particular computer on a LAN is not adequately protected, the networking infrastructure can do little to protect it.