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MAN stands for metropolitan area network and it is basically a computer network that is made by connecting multiple LAN’S. MAN covers a geographical area which is known as the metropolitan area. It serves as a connection which is larger than LAN(Local Area Network) but smaller than WAN(Wide Area Network). It generally covers the area of a city. It connects different LAN’s in an area by point to point connection. MAN also provides sharing of regional resources. MAN is very effective to use in large area like a city or a large campus. 

What is MAN ?
MAN stands for Metropolitan Area Network, which is a network that spans a metropolitan area or a city. It is designed to connect multiple locations within a metropolitan area, typically covering a range of up to 50 kilometers.

A MAN can be owned by a single organization or can be shared by multiple organizations, such as universities, hospitals, or government agencies. MANs are typically used to provide high-speed network connectivity between local area networks (LANs) and wide area networks (WANs), enabling data transfer and communication between different locations within a city.

MANs can be implemented using various technologies such as Ethernet, Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI), Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM), and Wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi, WiMAX, and microwave links.

Some common applications of MANs include video conferencing, distance learning, and telemedicine. MANs are also used by businesses to connect their branch offices and remote locations to their headquarters or data centers, enabling real-time data transfer and communication.

Why we uses MAN ?

There are several reasons why a Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) may be used:

  1. Connecting multiple locations within a city: MANs are designed to connect multiple locations within a metropolitan area, typically covering a range of up to 50 kilometers. By using a MAN, organizations can easily connect their different locations, such as branch offices, data centers, and remote sites, and enable fast and efficient communication between them.
  2. High-speed data transfer: MANs typically offer high-speed data transfer, which can be important for organizations that need to transfer large amounts of data quickly. This can be especially useful for applications such as video conferencing, distance learning, telemedicine, and real-time data transfer between different locations.
  3. Cost-effective: MANs can be a cost-effective solution for connecting multiple locations within a city. By using a shared network infrastructure, organizations can avoid the costs of building their own network infrastructure and can benefit from economies of scale.
  4. Scalability: MANs can be easily scaled up or down depending on the needs of the organization. This means that as an organization grows, it can easily add new locations to the network without having to completely rebuild the network infrastructure.
  5. Improved productivity: By using a MAN, organizations can improve their productivity by enabling fast and efficient communication between different locations. This can help to reduce travel time and costs, enable real-time collaboration, and improve decision-making.

Cable TV network and telephone networks

Characteristics :  

  • Area Covered – 
    It covers an area from 5 km to 50 km which can cover a city.
  • Ownership – 
    MAN is owned by a group of users rather than a single company.
  • High speed – 
    MAN provides high speed network which uses shared regional resources.
  • Size – 
    Size of MAN is in between WAN and LAN.

Advantages : 

  • MAN covers a larger area than LAN.
  • It has less implementation cost and it uses less resources.
  • It provides higher security than WAN.
  • It can cover area as large as a city.
  • MAN is a faster way to connect two fast LANs together. This is due to the fast configuration of links.
  • In some installation of MANs, users can share their internet connection. So multiple users can get the same high-speed internet.

Disadvantages : 

  • MAN is not easily manageable as it becomes very complex.
  • It requires highly skilled people to look after it.
  • It requires more cables for connecting the LAN’s.
  • It has high management cost
  • It covers smaller area than WAN.
  • It is only used in metropolitan areas.

Issues in MAN :

  1. Security: As MANs connect multiple locations within a city, there is a risk that unauthorized users may be able to access the network and compromise its security. MANs must be designed with security in mind and may require the use of encryption, firewalls, and other security measures to protect against unauthorized access and data breaches.
  2. Reliability: MANs must be designed to be reliable and available at all times, as downtime can result in significant disruptions to business operations. This may require redundant network infrastructure, backup power supplies, and other measures to ensure continuous operation.
  3. Interoperability: MANs may need to interoperate with other networks, such as Wide Area Networks (WANs) and Local Area Networks (LANs). Ensuring that different networks can interoperate seamlessly can be a challenge, particularly when using different network technologies and protocols.
  4. Network Management: Managing a MAN can be complex, particularly when dealing with multiple locations and network infrastructure. Effective network management tools and processes are essential to ensure that the network is running smoothly and that any issues are quickly identified and resolved.
  5. Cost: Deploying and maintaining a MAN can be expensive, particularly for organizations that need to cover large geographical areas or connect many locations. Careful planning and budgeting are essential to ensure that the costs of the MAN are justified by the benefits it provides.

Examples of metropolitan area network (MAN) :

 Some of the examples of MAN are:-

  • Digital cable television
  • Used in government agencies
  • Used to connect several branches of the local school
  • A network of fire stations
  • University campuses
  • Networking between community colleges within the country
  • Cable broadband

Last Updated : 07 Apr, 2023
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