Networking - Computer Network Types
Personal Area Network (PAN):
A Personal Area Network is the smallest type of network, typically connecting devices in close proximity to an individual, such as a smartphone, laptop, or wearable devices. PANs are often created using technologies like Bluetooth or infrared and are used for personal data transfer and device synchronization.
Local Area Network (LAN):
A Local Area Network connects devices within a limited geographical area, such as a home, office building, or school campus. LANs are commonly used for resource sharing, file sharing, and communication among devices. They typically utilize Ethernet cables or Wi-Fi for connectivity.
Metropolitan Area Network (MAN):
A Metropolitan Area Network spans a larger area than a LAN but is smaller than a wide area network (WAN). It connects multiple LANs within a city or metropolitan area, allowing for data sharing and communication across different sites or locations. MANs often utilize fiber optic cables or wireless technologies for connectivity.
Wide Area Network (WAN):
A Wide Area Network covers a large geographic area, such as multiple cities, countries, or even globally. WANs connect LANs or MANs over long distances, often utilizing leased lines, satellites, or internet connections. WANs enable organizations to connect remote offices, branch locations, or facilitate internet access for users.
Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN):
A Wireless Local Area Network, commonly known as Wi-Fi, uses wireless communication technologies to connect devices within a limited area. WLANs provide wireless connectivity, allowing devices to connect to the network without the need for physical cables. They are widely used in homes, offices, public spaces, and other environments for wireless internet access.
Storage Area Network (SAN):
A Storage Area Network is a dedicated network that provides high-speed access to consolidated, block-level data storage. SANs are typically used in enterprise environments to centralize and manage storage resources. They employ specialized protocols like Fibre Channel or iSCSI for data transfer between servers and storage devices.
Campus Area Network (CAN):
A Campus Area Network is designed to cover a university campus, corporate campus, or a large organization's premises. CANs connect various buildings or departments within a close proximity, enabling data sharing, resource access, and centralized services for the organization.
Virtual Private Network (VPN):
A Virtual Private Network is a secure network that utilizes encryption and tunneling protocols to create a private network connection over a public network, such as the internet. VPNs provide secure remote access to network resources, allowing users to connect to a private network from anywhere while ensuring data confidentiality.