Types of Network

There are several different types of computer networks. Computer networks can be characterized by their size as well as their purpose.We want to talk about types of network in the following.

Some of the different networks based on size are:

  • Personal area network, or PAN
  • Local area network, or LAN
  • Metropolitan area network, or MAN
  • Wide area network, or WAN

Types of network

1. Personal Area Network or PAN:

A personal area network is a computer network organized around an individual person. Personal area networks typically involve a mobile computer,Personal area networks can be constructed with cables or wirelessly.

The network is typically managed from a single computer but can be accessed from any device.

2. Local Area Network or LAN:

local area network, or LAN, consists of a computer network at a single site, typically an individual office building. A LAN is very useful for sharing resources, such as data storage and printers. LANs can be built with relatively inexpensive hardware, such as hubs, network adapters and Ethernet cables.

The smallest LAN may only use two computers, while larger LANs can accommodate thousands of computers. A LAN typically relies mostly on wired connections for increased speed and security, but wireless connections can also be part of a LAN. High speed and relatively low cost are the defining characteristics of LANs.

LANs are typically used for single sites where people need to share resources among themselves but not with the rest of the outside world. Think of an office building where everybody should be able to access files on a central server or be able to print a document to one or more central printers. Those tasks should be easy for everybody working in the same office, but you would not want somebody just walking outside to be able to send a document to the printer from their cell phone! If a local area network, or LAN, is entirely wireless, it is referred to as a wireless local area network, or WLAN.

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3. Metropolitan Area Network or MAN:

A network spanning a physical area larger than a LAN but smaller than a WAN, such as a city. A MAN is typically owned and operated by a single entity such as a government body or large corporation.

4. Wide area network, or WAN:

A WAN (wide area network) is a communications network that spans a large geographic area such as across cities, states, or countries.  Global WANS  can be public or private. Private WANs  are called Intranet which belongs to an organization. Public WANs (wide area networks) are open to everybody.


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