Sunday, 27 November 2016

Types of Computer Network

A computer network can be of many types based on size, geographical distance covered, capabilities as well as the type of services they provide.

There are many types of computer networks that are also known as ‘area’ networks. We shall cover some of the most common types of computer network that you may come across when using your home or small-scale computer network.

Different Types of Computer Networks

There are many computer networks some of which are listed below:
  1. Campus Area Network (CAN)
  2. Content Networks
  3. Enterprise Private Network
  4. Home Area Network
  5. Local Area Network
  6. Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)
  7. Personal Area Network (PAN)
  8. Storage Area Network (SAN)
  9. Virtual Private Network (VPN)
  10. Wide Area Network (WAN)

These are some of the widely used types of computer network. Let us have a look at the most commonly used networks.

Personal Area Network

PAN is a computer network that is organized around an individual person within a specific building. It could be within an office or a home. A PAN usually contains one or more computers, peripheral devices like a printer, video game console, telephone or other Internet-enabled personal devices.

When more than one individual uses the network within a single home, it is called as Home Area Network (HAN). A single wired connection is connected to a modem. One computer suffices the need to manage this computer network and can also be accessed from any other device such as a smartphone.

This PAN or HAN is a very useful and convenient computer network for many. It helps you do a lot many things without moving from your chair. It can help you:
  • Upload photos from a smartphone directly to your computer
  • It can help you send an image or document to the printer for print while you are sitting away from the printer, but within the network.
  • Stream movies on your Internet-enabled TV.

Local Area Network

A LAN consists of a networking facility that is available in a small geographical area such as an office, school, airport, hospital or even home. It is very useful in sharing files, printers, games, etc.

LAN can be differentiated from other types of computer networks by:

  • The size of the LAN
  • The transmission technology used
  • Topology of the network

A LAN has restricted size and therefore makes it very simple to manage. It uses very inexpensive hardware technology such as Ethernet cables. The speed of transmission for a LAN ranges from 10Mbps to 100 Mbps.

There are different types of LAN such an Ethernet LAN. It is the most common type of local area network. There are different network topologies to broadcast LAN, such as:

  • Bus
  • Ring
  • Star
  • Extended Star
  • Hierarchical
  • Mesh

Wide Area Network

The WAN is slightly more complex than LAN. It consists of computer that are connected together over large geographical distances. The network remotely connects them with a single large network and helps them communicate when far away from each other. The best example to explain WAN is the Internet. It allows different computers to be connected from different parts of the world.

The LAN is connected to WAN using routers. It transfers data and information quickly and securely. As WANs are too large, one administrator cannot manage it alone. Thus, it usually has a collective ownership or remains publically owned like the Internet.

Metropolitan Area Network

The Metropolitan area network is larger than a LAN. But, it is smaller than WAN. However, it has certain features of both LAN and WAN. It covers a town or a city and can be owned by a single person or a company. For example, a cable television network that provides Internet connection in a particular city.

Virtual Private Networks

VPN offers links or connections to noes that are connected through the virtual circuits. It does not use cables or wires to connect devices; instead, it uses a virtual private network. The topology of a VPN is more complex than the point-to-point network.

These are some of the common types of computer network used around the world.



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