Computer Networks – LAN | WAN | MAN | PAN – Explained in Detail 2023

Hey, in this article we will discuss different types of Computer Networks. Although, the Internet is the widest network and today it is needed for every type of business. In this article, we will cover various types of Networks. Although you might hear many types of networks given below, this article will guide you in the best way.


1. Personal Area Network (PAN)

A personal Area Network(PAN) is a type of network used to transmit data among personal devices such as computers, smartphones, Modem, etc. Such devices are connected with Bluetooth, USB, etc.

2. Local Area Network (LAN)

Local Area Network (LAN), is one of the famous types of Computer Networks, which is used in Enterprise Networks, Campuses, Organisations, Schools, Labs, and many more places. There are several Workstations, Computers, or Laptops, that are present in a LAN, which share data devices. All these devices are interconnected with the help of Network Switches. With the help of WAN devices like Routers and Firewalls, computers in a LAN can communicate with other LANs. We usually use NAT (Network Address Translation) on a Firewall or router for internet connectivity.

Usually, we use the DHCP to provide private IP Addresses to the LAN users.

3. Campus Area Network (CAN)

Campus Area Network (CAN), is larger than a LAN and smaller than MAN and WAN (Described Below). A Campus area is a type of network, that covers a network of campus-like Universities and colleges. Here, various LANs are interconnected with Layer 3 devices like Router or Multi-Layer Switch within a limited Geographic Area. Whenever we need to provide Internet connectivity, we need to connect it with Lease Lines using NAT(Network Address Translation). This is also known as the Corporate Area Network (CAN).

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4. Metropolitan Area Network(MAN)

A metropolitan area network is a computer network that interconnects users with computer resources in a geographic area or region larger than that covered by even a large Local Area Network but smaller than the area covered by a Wide Area Network.

5. Wide Area Network (WAN)

Wide Area Network, is the biggest Computer Network, which covers a Large Geographical Area. WAN usually uses Leased Lines to connect different Geographical locations.

The Internet is the main basic example of a Wide Area Network. Any computer in any geographic area can communicate with the help of WAN. WAN, is usually used to connect with different countries. There are millions of LANs in the Wide Area Networks.

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Special Types of Computer Networks

Although, we have discussed all basic types of networks. But, still, we have various types of networks, which is driven by basic types of network, but they are used in Industries. So, in the below session, we will discuss, Storage Area Networks (SAN), Virtual Private Networks (VPN), and Wireless Local Area Networks (W-LAN).

1. Storage Area Network (SAN)

According to Wikipedia, A storage area network or storage network is a Computer network that provides access to consolidated, block-level data storage. It is a high-speed computer network, which has block-level access to large data storage.

2. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Virtual Private Network, as the name suggests, is a highly encrypted secure connection, over a non-secure network. Many organizations use this technology for different purposes. For Example, with the help of a VPN, their employee can work from home. They usually use, IPSec (IP Security) VPN, also known as Site to Site VPN.

3. Wireless Local Area Network (W-LAN)

I know you are familiar with this type of network – Wireless Local Area Network (W-LAN), is a Local Area Network or Wireless Computer Network, where devices are interconnected without an Ethernet (wired) connection. Here, two or more computers are interconnected in such a way that they can transmit data over a wireless connection. All the devices are interconnected with the help of Wi-Fi technology. Here, for the interconnection, an Access Point (AP) is used to replace the network switch.

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In this article, we discussed different types of computer networks, i.e., Personal Area Networks (PAN), Local Area Networks (LAN), Campus Area Networks (CAN), Metropolitan Area Networks (MAN), and Wide Area Networks (WAN). We also discussed VPN and the importance of VPN.

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