Types of Networks in Computer Networks | LAN, WAN, MAN


Following are the types of networks that we will be talking about –

  • Local Area Network
  • Metropolitan Area Network 
  • Wide Area Network
  • Man and Internet
  • Applications

Local Area Network (LAN)

  • Local Area Networks (LANs), are privately owned networks within a single building or campus of up to few kms in size.
  • Using LANs, we can connect personal computers and workstations in company offices, or factories to share resources (e.g, printers) and exchange information.
  • Transmission technology consisting of a cable is used in LANs.
  • Sharing of information and databases, resources and network services leads to cost reductions.
  • There is increases information exchange between different departments in an organization, or between individuals.
  • Communication and manufacturing process can be automated.

Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)

  • Metropolitan are network, or MAN, can be used to cover a whole city. For eg, cable television network available in many cities.
  • It connects two or more computers that are apart but resides in the same or different cities.
  • MAN is designed for customers who need a high-speed connectivity.
  • Examples of a MAN are the part of the telephone company network that can provide a high-speed DSL line to the customer or the cable TV network in a city.


metropolitan area network cable
Traditional Cable Network

man computer network tv cable
Complete cable TV connection layout

Wide Area Network (WAN)

  • Wide Area Network, or WAN, spans a large geographical area, often a country or a continent.
  • Collection of machines intended for running user programs known as hosts is used in WAN.
  • These hosts are connected by a communication subnet and are owned by the customers.
  • The communication subnet is typically owned and operated by a telephone company or internet service provider.
  • Subnet is generally used to carry messages from host to host, just as the telephone system carries words from speaker to listener.
  • WAN (wide area network), in comparison to a MAN, is not restricted to a geographical location, although it might be confined within the bounds of a state or country. A WAN connects several LANs, and may be limited to an enterprise (a corporation or an organization) or accessible to the public. The technology is high speed and relatively expensive. The Internet is an example of a worldwide public WAN.

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