Components of a LAN, or local area network, include both hardware and software. Hardware components include computers, network interface cards, cables, routers, hubs and bridges. Software components include drivers for network interface cards, network operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows NT, and application software, such as email clients.
Wireless devices, such as tablets and phones, are also considered part of a LAN while they are connected. LANs use bridges, hubs and routers to transfer data between computers and other devices on the network and to negotiate data between other LANs. Routers, commonly called residential gateways, are frequently used in home networks to provide devices within the household access to the Internet.