Computer Network | Access networks

An access network is a type of network which physically connects an end system to the immediate router (also known as the “edge router”) on a path from the end system to any other distant end system. Examples of access networks are ISP, home networks, enterprise networks, ADSL, mobile network, FITH etc.

Types of access networks:

  • Ethernet –
    It is the most commonly installed wired LAN technology and it provides services on the Physical and Data Link Layer of OSI reference model. Ethernet LAN typically uses coaxial cable or twisted pair wires.
  • DSL –
    DSL stands for Digital Subscriber Line and DSL brings a connection into your home through telephone lines and a DSL line can carry both data and voice signals and the data part of the line is continuously connected. In DSL you are able to use the Internet and make phone calls simultaneously. DSL modem uses the telephone lines to exchange data with digital subscriber line access multiplexer (DSLAMs). In DSL we get 24 Mbps downstream and 2.5 Mbps upstream.
  • FTTH –
    Fiber to the home (FTTH) uses optical fiber from a central Office (CO) directly to individual buildings and it provides high-speed Internet access among all access networks.It ensures high initial investment but lesser future investment and it is the most expensive and most future-proof option amongst all these access networks.
  • Wireless LANs –
    It links two or more devices using wireless communication within a range. It uses high-frequency radio waves and often include an access point for connecting to the Internet.
  • 3G and LTE –
    It uses cellular telephony to send or receive packets through a nearby base station operated by the cellular network provider. The term “3G internet” refers to the third generation of mobile phone standards as set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Long Term Evolution (LTE) offers high-speed wireless communication for mobile devices and increased network capacity.


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