A desktop or laptop computer that is used on its own without requiring a connection to a local area network (LAN) or wide area network (WAN). Although it may be connected to a network, it is still a stand-alone PC as long as the network connection is not mandatory for its general use. In offices throughout the 1990s, millions of stand-alone PCs were hooked up to the local network for file sharing and mainframe access. Today, computers are commonly networked in the home so that family members can share an Internet connection as well as printers, scanners and other peripherals. When the computer is running local applications without Internet access, the machine is technically a stand-alone PC.