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Difference between LAN, MAN and WAN

  • Difficulty Level : Easy
  • Last Updated : 12 Jul, 2021
Geek Week

Prerequisite – Types of area networks – LAN, MAN and WAN 
LAN stands for local area network. It is a group of network devices that allow communication between various connected devices. Private ownership has control over the local area network rather than the public. LAN has a short propagation delay than MAN as well as WAN. It covers the smaller area such as colleges, schools, hospitals, and so on. 

MAN stands for metropolitan area network. It covers the larger area than LAN such as small towns, cities, etc. MAN connects two or more computers that reside within the same or completely different cities. MAN is expensive and should or might not be owned by one organization. 

WAN stands for wide area network. It covers a large area than LAN as well as a MAN such as country/continent etc. WAN is expensive and should or might not be owned by one organization. PSTN or satellite medium is used for wide area networks. 


Let’s see the differences between the three: LAN, MAN, and WAN. 


LAN stands for local area network.MAN stands for metropolitan area network.WAN stands for wide area network.
LAN’s ownership is private.MAN’s ownership can be private or public.While WAN also might not be owned by one organization.
The transmission speed of a LAN is high.While the transmission speed of a MAN is average.Whereas the transmission speed of a WAN is low.
The propagation delay is short in a LAN.There is a moderate propagation delay in a MAN.Whereas, there is a long propagation delay in a WAN.
There is less congestion in LAN.While there is more congestion in MAN.Whereas there is more congestion than MAN in WAN.
LAN’s design and maintenance is easy.While MAN’s design and maintenance is difficult than LAN.Whereas WAN’s design and maintenance is also difficult than LAN as well MAN.
There is more fault tolerance in LAN.While there is less fault tolerance.In WAN, there is also less fault tolerance.

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