Types of Networks – Networks can be classified based on size, complexity, level of security, or geographical range. We will discuss some of the most popular topologies based on geographical spread. That’s PAN, LAN, MAN, and WAN Networks.
There are 10 Types of Networks in Use Today
1. Personal Area Network (PAN)
PAN is the abbreviation for Personal Area Network. PAN is the interrelation between a device to the limit of a person’s private space, usually within a 10-meter range. If you have transferred pictures or songs from your laptop to your mobile using Bluetooth or from your mobile to your friend’s mobile, you have used a personal area network.
A person can connect their laptop, smartphone, personal digital assistant, and portable printer to a network at home. This network may be entirely WI-FI or a combination of wired and wireless.
2. Local Area Network (LAN)
A LAN local area network is a wired network that is spread over a single site, such as an office building or manufacturing unit. LAN is established when team members need to share software and hardware resources, but not with the outside world. Typical software resources include official documentation user manuals, employee handbooks, etc.
Hardware resources that can be easily shared over the network include a printer, fax machine, modem, memory space, etc. This severely degrades the organization’s infrastructure. A LAN can be established using a wired or wireless connection. A completely wireless LAN is called a wireless LAN.
3. Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)
MAN is the acronym for Metropolitan Area Network. It is a data network. designed for a town or city. It connects an area larger than a LAN, but smaller than a WAN.
Its main purpose is to share hardware and software resources with various users. The cable TV network is an example of a metropolitan area network. The computers are a MAN that is connected using co-axial cables or fiber optic cables.
4. Wide Area Network (WAN)
WAN is a geographically dispersed collection of LANs. A WAN like the Internet is the most spread in the world. A network device called a router connects LANs to the WAN.
Like the Internet, most WANs are not owned by any single organization but exist under collective or distributed ownership and management. WANs use technology such as ATM, frame relay, and X.25 for connectivity.
5. Campus Area Network (CAN)
The Campus Area Network (CAN) is the space on the network that is shared by all the devices and buildings on the network. All devices on the network can send and receive data on the CAN, but only devices that are connected to the same switch will be able to reach each other. For example, in a small office building that has a single switch, only the devices connected to that switch will be able to reach each other. In a small college dorm, all the devices are on the same switch, so they can all reach each other.
6. Storage-Area Network (SAN)
A storage-area network (SAN) is a network of storage devices that are connected to make a larger network. The SAN is a great way to store data that needs to be accessed frequently, such as digital images or videos. It’s also a great way to store data that doesn’t need to be accessed as frequently, such as large files or data that are backed up frequently. The SAN is a great way to increase the amount of storage space on your computer without having to buy a lot of new hardware.
7. System-Area Network (also known as SAN)
The system-area network (Also known as SAN) is the part of the campus network that connects devices, such as computers, printers, and networked appliances, to the network. In a typical network, all the devices are connected to the backbone (the system-area network) with a loop of cable.
8. Passive Optical Local Area Network (POLAN)
Optical LANs use light to carry data, instead of electric currents, which means they can be much faster and more reliable than traditional copper cables. The main advantage of an optical LAN is that no fiber is required, which means they are much cheaper to install. An optical LAN is also known as a passive network. The term “passive” refers to the fact that there are no repeaters or other devices in the network that require power.
9. Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A virtual private network (VPN) is a secure network that uses a network of servers and network equipment to provide secure connections to users from remote locations. Unlike a private network that uses a single server and network equipment to provide access to users, a VPN uses several servers and network equipment to provide access to users.