Types of network

Based on geographical area, network can be divided into three board categories:


  • LAN (Local Area Network)
  • MAN (Metropolitan Area Network)
  • WAN (Wide Area Network)
LAN : Local Area network, as the name signifies, is a type of communication system that enables interconnection of computers (modes) within a small geographical area, such as in an office or within a building. It enables the users to share the devices (printers, scanners, etc.) application programs, data and information. The common communicating media for LAN are radio waves, cables, etc.

Characteristics of LAN

The transfer of data in LAN takes place at a rate of 100-1000 (Mega Byte Per Second).

It is owned by a single organization and is not subject to external tariffs.

It provides the users with a systematic access to several resources viz, computers. 

MAN : Metropolitan Area Network is a network in which the computers (Nodes) are spread over metropolitan area such as a city and its suburbs. It is a large network that covers an entire city. It may be a single network such as a Cable TV network or may be a means of connecting a number of LANs.

MAN : may be operated by a single organization or can be shared by several organizations in the same city. The communication media used in MAN are optical fibre cable, microwave, satellite links, etc.

Characteristics of MAN

  • It is larger than a LAN 
  • It is connected within a single city or metropolitan area.
  • It is mainly owned by large organizations to interconnect all its branches or resources across city.
WAN : wide area network is communication system that establishes a network in which the computers (nodes) are connected over a large geographical area such as cities states, countries or we can say the whole world.
In WAN, the transmission media can be telephone lines, microwave and satelite links Mobiles cables or mobile networks is an example of WAN.

Characteristics of WAN

  • The speed of transfer of data is very high and is increasing day-by-day.
  • It covers a large geographical area at a minimum cost.
  • The user or nodes under WAN are unlimited.


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