Computer networking has been developed to transfer data over the networks using different method and medium. To utilize the network properly the concepts of area network has been arisen. In the earlier post, we have learned that data are sent using mainly two different ways, the first one was wired medium and the second one was wireless medium.
Using these two data transferring medium we can create some kind of area networks for specific needs. There are some common portions you will find in every type and unknown portion as well in Area networks. Types of area networks are different from each other and the variation mainly depends on the geographical area. They are,
- PAN (Personal Area Network)
- LAN (Local Area Network)
- MAN (Metropolitan Area Network)
- WAN (Wide Area Network)
There are also other kinds of computer network area type you will find. They are quite different from the above. Like VPN (Virtual Private Network), EPN (Enterprise Area Networks) etc. See figure 1.5 below the graphical representation of the area networks.
PAN (Personal Area Network)
Personal area network (PAN) is actually a file transferring process within a very small range or distance, Basically in the same room or building or within a single apartment. Like LAN, MAN and WAN, PAN can’t receive data from a long distance.
It is actually pair-pair data transfer system between two devices at a low transfer rate and also within a small range. It is commonly used in mobile and smartphone for creating Bluetooth network. Bluetooth is actually a PAN network. So it is clear that PAN can connect only two devices at a time for transferring data with a low transfer rate.
PAN is included in the types of area network because it is actually creating a small network that communicates 2 devices for sending and receiving data. Personal Area Network can cover the smallest area.
LAN (Local Area Network)
LAN stands for Local Area Networks, this network s most commonly and widely used in computer networking. Locally connected hosts can share data and files throughout the LAN with a high-speed transfer rate. A series of personal computer and workstation computer and even smartphones are connected using a network hub or switch in a local network. And all the data transferring rule are defined in the TCP/IP protocol. We will discuss about this in the later posts of this series.
LAN can cover a small range of area like a few kilometers. For creating a networking zone LAN use Optical fiber wire for connecting the computers and networking devices together. There are some other hardware and software application is needed to be connected with LAN. Coaxial and twisted pair cable used for connecting the Ethernet connection and wireless zone hotspots creating a device like a switch, hub or routers.
LAN is very easy to install, inexpensive and easy to maintain. LAN can be privately owned and can transfer data in with high-speed transfer rates. You can create your own private LAN zone for transferring data and files within a small area. It can be used in Hospital, home, building, school etc.
MAN (Metropolitan Area Network)
MAN stands for Metropolitan Area Network. Two or multiple computers are connected and they are obviously apart from each other can share data and files with a very high-speed transfer rate. MAN can serve connectivity to a larger area than LAN. Servers that are connected with MAN, the data client can download the files from the server with very high speed.
Sometime MAN serves as an Internet Servers Provider (ISP). MAN is difficult to install and maintain. It also may be costly.