Updated: Jun 9
In this blog we will be discussing important types of Computer Networks.
A computer network can be categorized by their size.
Some of the most popular network types are:
LAN (Local Area Network)
WAN (Personal Area Network)
MAN (Metropolitan Area Network)
PAN (Personal Area Network)
What is LAN?
It is a group of computers connected to each other in a small area such as building, office, home, school.
Used for connecting devices through a communication medium such as twisted pairs, coaxial cable, etc.
Simplest type of LAN is to connect computers and a printer in someone's office or home.
It is a network which consists of less than 5000 interconnected devices across several buildings.
(Computer) / \ (Computer) (Computer) \ LAN / \ / (Computer)
Characteristics of LAN:
It is private network, so it is comparatively secure.
It operates at relatively higher speed.
There are various kinds of media access control methods like token ring and Ethernet.
Advantages of LAN:
You can use the same software over the network instead of purchasing the licensed software for each client in the network.
Data of all network users can be stored on a single hard disk of the server computer.
You can easily transfer data and messages over networked computers.
It will be easy to manage data at only one place, which makes data more secure.
It offers the facility to share a single internet connection among all the LAN users.
Disadvantages of LAN:
It will indeed save cost because of shared computer resources, but the initial cost of installing Local Area Networks is quite high.
The LAN admin can check personal data files of every LAN user, so it does not offer good privacy.
Unauthorized users can access critical data of an organization in case LAN admin is not able to secure centralized data repository.
Local Area Network requires a constant LAN administration as there are issues related to software setup and hardware failures
What is WAN?
A Wide Area Network is a network that extends over a large geographical area such as states or countries.
It is quite bigger network than the LAN.
It is not limited to a single location, but it spans over a large geographical area through a telephone line, fiber optic cable or satellite links.
(PC) / \ (PC) LAN (PC) \ / (PC)--(PC) / \ / WAN \ / \ (PC) (PC) / \ / \ (PC) LAN (PC) --- (PC) LAN (PC) \ / \ / (PC) (PC)
Characteristics of WAN:
The software files will be shared among all the users therefore, all can access to the latest files.
Any organization can form its global integrated network using WAN.
Advantages of WAN:
WAN helps you to cover a larger geographical area. Therefore business offices situated at longer distances can easily communicate.
WLAN connections work using radio transmitters and receivers built into client devices.
Disadvantage of WAN:
The initial setup cost of investment is very high.
It is difficult to maintain the WAN network, skilled technicians and network administrators needed.
There are more errors and issues because of the wide coverage and the use of different technologies.
It requires more time to resolve issues because of the involvement of multiple wired and wireless technologies.
Offers lower security compared to other types of networks.
What is MAN?
A metropolitan area network is a network that covers a larger geographic area by interconnecting a different LAN to form a larger network.
Government agencies use MAN to connect to the citizens and private industries.
In MAN, various LAN's are connected to each other through a telephone exchange line.
The most widely used protocols in MAN are RS-232, Frame Relay, ATM, ISDN, OC-3, ADSL, etc.
It has a higher range than Local Area Network(LAN).
Core Network | | WLAN, LAN --- Metro Network --- 2G, 3G / | \ / | \ CATV XDSL ISDN
Characteristics of MAN:
It mostly covers towns and cities in a maximum 50 km range
Mostly used medium is optical fibers, cables
Data rates adequate for distributed computing applications.
Advantages of MAN:
It offers fast communication using high-speed carriers, like fiber optic cables.
It provides excellent support for an extensive size network and greater access to WAN's.
The dual bus in MAN network provides support to transmit data in both directions concurrently.
A MAN network mostly includes some areas of a city or an entire city.
Disadvantages of MAN:
Here are drawbacks/ cons of using the MAN network:
You need more cable to establish MAN connection from one place to another.
In MAN network it is tough to make the system secure from hackers
What is PAN?
It is a network arranged within an individual person, typically within a range of 10 meters.
Personal Area Network is used for connecting the computer devices of personal use is known as Personal Area Network.
Thomas Zimmerman was the first research scientist to bring the idea of the Personal Area Network.
Personal Area Network covers an area of 30 feet.
Personal computer devices that are used to develop the personal area network are the laptop, mobile phones, media player and play stations.
Headphones | Mobile phone -- (PC) -- Printer | Mouse
Characteristics of PAN:
It is mostly personal devices network equipped within a limited area.
Allows you to handle the interconnection of IT devices at the surrounding of a single user.
PAN includes mobile devices, tablet, and laptop.
It can be wireless connected to the internet called WPAN.
Appliances use for PAN: cordless mice, keyboards, and Bluetooth systems.
Advantages of PAN:
PAN networks are relatively secure and safe
It offers only short-range solution up to ten meters
Strictly restricted to a small area
Disadvantages of PAN:
It may establish a bad connection to other networks at the same radio bands.
Range is very limited.
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