What Are The Main Types of Computer Networks?
What is a computer network?
A computer network is a group of computer systems that are connected to communicate with each other. The network can be used for many different purposes, but it is most commonly used to share information or to achieve a shared goal.
Below are the four main types of computer networks:
1. Wide Area Network (WAN)
WAN is an internetwork of interconnected networks that are connected by routers connected by telephone lines or leased lines using dedicated communication paths. These networks can be used to connect geographically dispersed locations that require high bandwidth transmission capability.
Benefits of Wide Area Network
• WANs provide connectivity between distributed sites. Distributed sites are located in various locations and connected via high-speed data communications links.
• WAN allows users access to corporate data, applications, and services from anywhere in the world.
• WAN is used to connect remote offices and with the central office, allowing employees at these locations to work collectively on projects and share files across organizational boundaries.
• WAN provides a fast, reliable way for businesses and individuals to communicate with each other.
2. Local Area Network (LAN)
LANs are a type of computer networking technology that connects multiple computers and peripheral devices in the same physical place, such as a building or room, with data transmission cables.
Benefits of Local Area Network
• Ease of use
• Faster speeds
• High bandwidth network
• Low latency network
• High availability and reliability
• Security and privacy.
• You can share files with other computers on your local network, which means that you can save money by not having to buy a new computer just for one specific purpose.
• LANs are also popular for implementing server farms in large organizations.
• LANs are a popular choice for small businesses, as they allow for faster file sharing and centralized management.
3. Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)
Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) is a telecommunications network that connects one or more cities, metropolitan areas and, or a group of cities.
The primary purpose of MAN is to provide connectivity among large numbers of people and businesses.
Benefits of Metropolitan Area Network
1. Greater communication efficiency
2. Less capital cost
3. Better network capacity
4. Greater reliability and redundancy
4. Personal Area Network (PAN)
Personal Area Network (PAN) is a network that allows you to connect multiple devices such as computers, printers and other peripherals to a single network.
The main benefit of using PAN is that it allows you to connect devices such as PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones without having an additional wired connection. This means that you can use the same device on different networks without worrying about connectivity issues or compatibility problems.
Benefits of Personal Area Network
• It allows users to connect to various devices, such as mobile phones, laptops, digital cameras and printers.
• Easy to set up, but it requires an extra device called a router because it needs a wireless access point that connects all the devices on the network.
• Ability to share files with other people on the same network. You do not have to use a computer or laptop because you can simply open a file on your phone and send it over the air directly to your friend’s phone via Bluetooth.
• Ability to access data stored in other devices connected to your area network without having to transfer files manually around the Internet.
• Allows users to communicate with each other at high speeds without having to worry about their data packets being lost in the process.
• Security – With a PAN connection all your devices are secure from hackers by using encryption technology to protect against viruses and malware attacks.
• Cheap: Compared to traditional wireless broadband networks the cost of a PAN connection is much lower because it uses an unlicensed spectrum that doesn’t require any installation fees or licensing fees.
While many people have a pretty good idea of what the Internet is and how it can be used, they may not be as familiar with all the different types of computer networks that exist, how they work together, or how they are implemented.
This knowledge ensures that you can recognize when you need a specific network, and also help you judge which computer network is best for your needs when presented with different options.