Introduction:- When two or more computers are connected with each other with an intention to share data and resources, it is known as Network. To have Network, architecture on how to create the connectivity has already been discussed in the earlier post. Network can be designed using the suitable topology depending upon the needs, wants, and reach. That decides its purpose and size. The size of the computer network can be expressed by the geographical area they occupy / cover and numbers of computer are connected within that area. Network may have handful of devices connected within a small room, building and billions of computer spread across the globe. Lets understand the types of Computer Network based on its size:-
1. PAN (Personal Area Network)
2. LAN (Local Area Network)
3. MAN (Metropolitan Area Network)
4. WAN (Wide Area Network)
PAN (Personal Area Network):- A Personal Area Network is a computer network organised for personal /individual use within single building, residence and small office. A PAN may include one or more computers, peripherals, home entertainment system(network enabled- TV, Music Players, Home Theater system), printers and video game consoles. Sometimes this types of network is also known as HAN (Home Area Network) where two or more individuals uses the resources including the Internet.
LAN (Local Area Network):- A Local Area Network is a computer network which is spread across 1 KM of area, School, Offices or within the building. It is very useful setup to create an environment of data sharing and resources including printers, computer peripherals, and Internet. Mostly LAN is created using the wired setup for increased security and speed, but in some cases wireless setup can also be created in LAN, which may connect few machines or thousands of computer using the wired and wireless topology.
MAN (Metropolitan Area Network):- A MAN is a computer network which is spread across the city. MAN generally consists of two or more LAN which makes it bigger ( Collage Campuses, Office branches etc). It can also be understood by the angle of Service providers who has to create an infrastructure of network through which they can connect an individual and business subscribers to Internet and broadband services.
WAN (Wide Area Network):- Wide Area Network is a computer network which can connect computers across the country and computers across the globe. It is also know as Internet. WAN has revolutionized the way we communicate with each other or to remain connected from any corner of earth provided you have WAN/Internet connection. WAN consists of all the LAN and MAN of the entire world provided all the connected devices wishes to participate in the WAN.