Types of Computer Network - MetaTutorials

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Types of Computer Network

Here, we will learn about the various types of Computer Network in detail with their definition, advantages and disadvantages.
Nowadays, there are 11 types of computer networks used for sharing data, applications and resources. But, some of these four popular computer networks are widely used. These four types of computer network are as follows: 
  1. PAN 
  2. LAN
  3. MAN
  4. WAN

Let's discuss the above four Computer Networks one by one. 

Personal Area Network (PAN)

Personal Area Network is a basic type of computer network which is established around one person in the range of 10 meters. 

This network helps to share the information within a range of 10 meters. It connects two computer devices, mobile devices, tablets, and Bluetooth enabled headphones.   
This type of network is deployed by using the Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity), Bluetooth, and USB (Universal Serial Bus) cable. 

Advantages of Personal Area Network (PAN)

Following are the advantages of Personal Area Network (PAN):
1. This network is highly secure and safe. 
2. Users can easily connect one device to two or more devices at the same time but within the range of 10 meters. 
3. You can use and manage this network easily. There is no advanced set-up required. 
4. If we use PAN in the range of 10 meters then its reliability and stability are excellent. 

Disadvantages of Personal Area Network (PAN)

Following are the disadvantages of Personal Area Network (PAN): 
1. The main disadvantage is that it does not allow sharing the information for long distances. 
2. In this network, the data transfer rate via Bluetooth and Infrared is slow as compared to a LAN network. 

Local Area Network (LAN)

Local Area Network is a group of computers and low-voltage devices which are connected in a small area such as home, laboratory, school, office, etc. 

The devices and computers in LAN are connected with coaxial cable, twisted pair cable, routers, and switches. 
Following are two most common technologies which are used in Local Area Network:
1. Ethernet
2. Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity)    

Advantages of Local Area Network (LAN)

Following are the advantages of Local Area Network (LAN):
1. This network is highly secure because there is no outside connection is connected with this network so the data which is shared in this network is highly secure.
2. Another big advantage of LAN is that it is cost-effective. Because, this network is built with cheap hardware like network adapters, hubs, and ethernet cables.
3. Due to its small size, the transfer rate of data is high as compared to other networks. 
 

Disadvantages of Local Area Network (LAN)

Following are the disadvantages of Local Area Network (LAN):
1. If the LAN administrator does not keep the server secure then the unauthorized user can steal the essential data of the organization. So, the privacy policies and set of rules should be correctly set up on the server. 
2. Another big disadvantage of LAN is that this network covers only a limited area. 
3. Initially, there is a requirement of the high cost to set up the LAN, because the costly special software is needed to make a system as a server.  

Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)

Metropolitan Area Network covers a town or entire city by interconnecting the different LANs to make a larger network of computers. 

In this type of network, LANs are connected with each other through telephone cables. In this network, computers are connected within the multiple banks in a city, multiple cities and towns, a single large city, or any large area with more than two buildings. 
Following are some protocols that are highly used in MAN are:
1. ATM,
2. ISDN,
3. ADSL
4. Frame Relay
5. OC-3, etc. 

Advantages of Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)

Following are the advantages of the Metropolitan Area Network (MAN):
1. As compared to the Local Area Network, the size and area of the Metropolitan Area Network are larger.
2. This network uses the fiber optical cable which helps to boost the speed of data transfer. 1000 Mb per second is the speed of MAN.  
3. Users can freely send local emails at a fast speed in this network.
4. As compared to the Wide Area Network (WAN), the size and area of the Metropolitan Area Network are smaller. And, it is highly secure. 

Disadvantages of Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)

Following are the disadvantages of the Metropolitan Area Network (MAN):
1. In this network, users need another cable for connecting two LANs. So, it is a problem of MAN. 
2. As compared to LAN, it is tough to make the system secure from hackers. In this network, data needs various high-security tools and highly trained administrators.  
3. Once the size of this network becomes large then it is difficult to manage and maintain.  

Wide Area Network (WAN)

A Wide Area Network is another computer network which covers a large geographical area such as the globe, country, or state. This network connects computers across longer distances. 

The biggest Wide Area Network in the world is the Internet. The Internet connects/joins all the computers together across the globe.   
In this network, telephone lines are used for wired communication and satellite links are used for wireless communication. 

Advantages of Wide Area Network (WAN)

Following are the advantages of Wide Area Network (WAN):
1. The main and big benefit of this network is that it covers the large geographical area for transferring the data over the network. So, the large organizations set up in different countries can easily communicate.   
2. Same as LAN, it also allows the sharing of applications, software, and infrastructure among distributed users.  
3. As compared to the Local Area Network and Metropolitan Area Network, it covers the larger geographical area.
4. Users can send messages across the globe with the help of applications such as Facebook, WhatsApp, zoom, skype, etc.

Disadvantages of Wide Area Network (WAN)

Following are the disadvantages of Wide Area Network (WAN):
1. WAN requires skilled and experienced network administrators to handle and manage.   
2. As we know that the area of this network is large and the use of technologies is more. That's why the security of this network is less as compared to the LAN and MAN.
3. The initial cost to set up this network is higher than the LAN and MAN. 

Other types of Computer Network

Apart from the above computer networks, following are some other types of Computer network:
  1. Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN or Wireless LAN)
  2. Virtual Private Network (VPN)
  3. Home Area Network (HAN)
  4. Storage Area Network (SAN)
  5. System Area Network ( also referred to as SAN)
  6. Campus Area Network (CAN)
  7. Enterprise Private Network (EPN)

Wireless Area Network (WLAN)

Wireless Area Network or Wireless LAN is similar to the LAN, but this network links the multiple different devices within a limited area via Wireless-Fidelity (Wi-Fi).

This type of computer network minimizes the use of physical cables. 
Users can make this network public or private according to the requirements. 
If all the devices are present in a limited area like a home, office building, or school, then all the devices can be connected using this network.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

A Virtual Private Network is a private network which is established by using the public network for connecting the remote sites or users together.

This network is the best solution to protect the transmitted data from hackers or unauthorized users. It is established when we want to make a secure connection between the two locations.
The VPN systems use data encryption and high-security techniques to keep the data secure. 

Home Area Network (HAN)

Home Area Network is a computer network which is constructed by linking the two or more computers within the home.

This network is only beneficial for those homes having two or more computers. Users who are using this network can easily transfer the files and share the resources and programs of one computer to another.

Storage Area Network (SAN)

Storage Area Network  is an important high-speed computer network which links the storage device to more than one server. 

This network is mainly used for transmitting the data between multiple storage devices. This network makes the consolidated and block-level data storage devices. 
Converged, Unified, and Virtual SANs are the three different types of Storage Area Network. 

System Area Network (also referred to as SAN)

System Area Network is used for local networks when high processing is required. 
This network offers high bandwidth and low latency in the storage area network, server-to-server, and processor-to-processor environment. 

Campus Area Network (CAN)

Campus Area Network is a network which is larger than LANs but smaller than MANs and used for connecting the two LAN within the particular area. 
Sometimes, this network is also called Corporate Area Network, Controller Area Network, and Cluster Area Network. This type of network is mainly used in University Campus and small businesses. 

Enterprise Private Network (EPN)

Enterprise Private Network owned by those businesses which want to connect all the computers of  the various locations for transmitting the data and sharing the resources.  
This network allows communication between the computer devices and shares the resources within an enterprise via cables, wireless media, and other technologies.