Network Types :
Computer networks can be classified based on various parameters . One such classification parameter is geographical area the networks are spread out. Based on the span and scope the network types can be :
- LAN – Local Area Network
- WLAN – Wireless Local Area Network
- WAN – Wide Area Network
- MAN – Metropolitan Area Network
- SAN – Storage Area Network
- CAN – Campus Area network
- PAN – Personal Area Network
- DAN – Desktop Area Network.
Of all these, LAN, WLAN, WAN and MAN is mostly used.
LAN – Local Area Network
- Local Area Network is a network type which is used to connect computer devices which are located within small geographical area like home , offices, schools and small group of buildings.
- The typical range of LAN is few hundred meters but not more than a mile.
- Data transfer rates in LAN are very high typically in the range of 0Mbps to 10Gbps
- Cost of setting up and maintaining LAN network is low as compared to other types of network.
- LANs can be either wired or wireless. For wired connection, twisted pair or coaxial cable or fiber optic can be used.
- IEEE defines standards for LAN in IEEE 802. Ethernet or IEEE 802.3 is one of those.
- Nodes in LAN can be organized as Bus, Ring and Star.
MAN (Metropolitan Area Network)
- MAN is a computer network type which usually spans a city or large campus. MAN networks lie in between LAN and WAN
- MAN interconnects a number of LANs using high capacity backbone technology, for example fiber optic. MAN also provides up-link services to WAN and Internet
WAN (Wide Area Network)
- WAN is a network type which is used to describe network which spans regional , national or global area. For example, offices located at NewDelhi , Mumbai and New York are connected by WAN.
- WANs are connected using Leased Line, Dialup connection, Packet Switching and Cell Relay
- WANs are also used to connect LANs located at different locations.
- Transmission rated in WANs usually range from 1200 bits/sec to 24 Mbps. With connections like ATM and Leased Lines, the transmission rate can be reached greater than 156 Mbps
CAN (Campus Area Network)
- CAN is network type which is made up by interconnecting LANs within limited geographical area.
- In CAN, the campus tenant/owner owns the CAN networking infrastructure. These include networking equipments (switched, routers) and transmission media (copper wires, optical fiber etc.)
- Example of CAN implementations are : Stanford University’s SUNet Network, amd MIT’s Project Athena.
This completes our short introduction to Network types based on geographical span.