What is aNetwork?A network consists of two ormore computers that are linked inorder to share resources (such asprinters and CDs), exchange files,or allow electroniccommunications. The computers on
Types of networkDifferent types of (private) networks aredistinguished based on their size (in termsof the number of machines), their datatransfer speed, and their reach. Privatenetworks are networks that belong to asingle organisation. There are usually saidto be three categories of networks:•Local Area Network(LAN)•Wide Area Network(WAN)
.LAN stands for Local Area Network. It’s a groupof computers which all belong to the sameorganisation, and which are linked within asmall geographic area using a network, andoften the same technology (the mostwidespread being Ethernet). A local areanetwork is a network in its simplest form. Datatransfer speeds over a local area network canreach up to 10 Mbps.A local area network can reach as many as100, or even 1000, users. By expanding thedefinition of a LAN to the services that itprovides, two different operating modes can bedefined: In a “peer-to-peer” network, in which
WANA WAN (Wide Area Network orextended network) connectsmultiple LANs to one another overgreat geographic distances. Thespeed available on a WAN variesdepending on the cost of theconnections (which increases withdistance) and may be low. WANsoperate using routers, which can“choose” the most appropriatepath for data to take to reach anetwork node. The most well-
MANMANs (Metropolitan AreaNetworks) connect multiplegeographically nearby LANs toone another (over an area of upto a few dozen kilometres) athigh speeds. Thus, a MAN lets tworemote nodes communicate as ifthey were part of the same localarea network. A MAN is madefrom switches or routersconnected to one another with
As far as how they work, a LAN, a MAN,and A WAN all use the sametechnology, protocol, etc. There is noeasy way to decide which is anetwork is. If you have a companythat has two building 10 feet apart,and they set up a single networkbetween them, is it a LAN or a WAN?You could make good arguments foreither. As Google has differentservers that handle different citiesor different countries, is it one giantWAN, or a set of smaller MANs? Youcould make a good argument foreither. The definition of what is WHATis not very clear in the real world.