Pre-Requisite: Computer Networking
A computer network is a cluster of computers over a shared communication path that works to share resources from one computer to another, provided by or located on the network nodes.
Uses of Computer Networks
- Communicating using email, video, instant messaging, etc.
- Sharing devices such as printers, scanners, etc.
- Sharing files.
- Sharing software and operating programs on remote systems.
- Allowing network users to easily access and maintain information.
Types of Computer Networks
There are mainly five types of Computer Networks
- Personal Area Network (PAN)
- Local Area Network (LAN)
- Campus Area Network (CAN)
- Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)
- Wide Area Network (WAN)
Types of Computer Networks
These are explained below.
1. Personal Area Network (PAN)
PAN is the most basic type of computer network. This network is restrained to a single person, that is, communication between the computer devices is centered only on an individual’s workspace. PAN offers a network range of 1 to 100 meters from person to device providing communication. Its transmission speed is very high with very easy maintenance and very low cost.
This uses Bluetooth, IrDA, and Zigbee as technology.
Examples of PAN are USB, computer, phone, tablet, printer, PDA, etc.
Personal Area Network (PAN)
2. Local Area Network (LAN)
LAN is the most frequently used network. A LAN is a computer network that connects computers through a common communication path, contained within a limited area, that is, locally. A LAN encompasses two or more computers connected over a server. The two important technologies involved in this network are Ethernet and Wi-fi. It ranges up to 2km & transmission speed is very high with easy maintenance and low cost.
Examples of LAN are networking in a home, school, library, laboratory, college, office, etc.
Local Area Network (LAN)
3. Campus Area Network (CAN)
CAN is bigger than a LAN but smaller than a MAN. This is a type of computer network that is usually used in places like a school or colleges. This network covers a limited geographical area that is, it spreads across several buildings within the campus. CAN mainly use Ethernet technology with a range from 1km to 5km.
Its transmission speed is very high with a moderate maintenance cost and moderate cost.
Examples of CAN are networks that cover schools, colleges, buildings, etc.
Campus Area Network (CAN)
4. Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)
A MAN is larger than a LAN but smaller than a WAN. This is the type of computer network that connects computers over a geographical distance through a shared communication path over a city, town, or metropolitan area. This network mainly uses FDDI, CDDI, and ATM as the technology with a range from 5km to 50km. Its transmission speed is average. It is difficult to maintain and it comes with a high cost.
Examples of MAN are networking in towns, cities, a single large city, a large area within multiple buildings, etc.
Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)
5. Wide Area Network (WAN)
WAN is a type of computer network that connects computers over a large geographical distance through a shared communication path. It is not restrained to a single location but extends over many locations. WAN can also be defined as a group of local area networks that communicate with each other with a range above 50km.
Here we use Leased-Line & Dial-up technology. Its transmission speed is very low and it comes with very high maintenance and very high cost.
The most common example of WAN is the Internet.
Wide Area Network (WAN)
Comparison between Different Computer Networks
||Personal Area Network
||Local Area Network
||Campus Area Network
||Metropolitan Area Network
||Wide Area Network
||Ethernet & Wifi
||FDDI, CDDi. ATM
||Leased Line, Dial-Up
||1 – 5 km
||Above 50 km
||Private or Public
||Private or Public
Other Types of Computer Networks
- Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN)
- Storage Area Network (SAN)
- System-Area Network (SAN)
- Passive Optical Local Area Network (POLAN)
- Enterprise Private Network (EPN)
- Virtual Private Network (VPN)
- Home Area Network (HAN)
1. Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN)
WLAN is a type of computer network that acts as a local area network but makes use of wireless network technology like Wi-Fi. This network doesn’t allow devices to communicate over physical cables like in LAN but allows devices to communicate wirelessly.
The most common example of WLAN is Wi-Fi.
Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN)
There are several computer networks available; more information is provided below.
2. Storage Area Network (SAN)
SAN is a type of computer network that is high-speed and connects groups of storage devices to several servers. This network does not depend on LAN or WAN. Instead, a SAN moves the storage resources from the network to its high-powered network. A SAN provides access to block-level data storage.
Examples of SAN are a network of disks accessed by a network of servers.
Storage Area Network (SAN)
3. System Area Network (SAN)
A SAN is a type of computer network that connects a cluster of high-performance computers. It is a connection-oriented and high-bandwidth network. A SAN is a type of LAN that handles high amounts of information in large requests. This network is useful for processing applications that require high network performance.
Microsoft SQL Server 2005 uses SAN through a virtual interface adapter.
System Area Network (SAN)
4. Passive Optical Local Area Network (POLAN)
A POLAN is a type of computer network that is an alternative to a LAN. POLAN uses optical splitters to split an optical signal from a single strand of single-mode optical fiber to multiple signals to distribute users and devices. In short, POLAN is a point to multipoint LAN architecture.
Passive Optical Local Area Network (POLAN)
5. Enterprise Private Network (EPN)
EPN is a type of computer network mostly used by businesses that want a secure connection over various locations to share computer resources.
Enterprise Private Network (EPN)
6. Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A VPN is a type of computer network that extends a private network across the internet and lets the user send and receive data as if they were connected to a private network even though they are not. Through a virtual point-to-point connection users can access a private network remotely. VPN protects you from malicious sources by operating as a medium that gives you a protected network connection.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
7. Home Area Network (HAN)
Many of the houses might have more than a computer. To interconnect those computers and with other peripheral devices, a network should be established similar to the local area network (LAN) within that home. Such a type of network that allows a user to interconnect multiple computers and other digital devices within the home is referred to as Home Area Network (HAN). HAN encourages sharing of resources, files, and programs within the network. It supports both wired and wireless communication.
Home Area Network (HAN)
Advantages of Computer Network
Some of the main advantages of Computer Networks are:
- Central Storage of Data: Files are stored on a central storage database which helps to easily access and available to everyone.
- Connectivity: A single connection can be routed to connect multiple computing devices.
- Sharing of Files: Files and data can be easily shared among multiple devices which helps in easily communicating among the organization.
- Security through Authorization: Computer Networking provides additional security and protection of information in the system.
Disadvantages of Computer Network
Some of the main disadvantages of Computer Networks are:
- Virus and Malware: A virus is a program that can infect other programs by modifying them. Viruses and Malware can corrupt the whole network.
- High Cost of Setup: The initial setup of Computer Networking is expensive because it consists of a lot of wires and cables along with the device.
- loss of Information: In case of a System Failure, might lead to some loss of data.
- Management of Network: Management of a Network is somehow complex for a person, it requires training for its proper use.
Unlock the Power of Placement Preparation!
Feeling lost in OS, DBMS, CN, SQL, and DSA chaos? Our Complete Interview Preparation
Course is the ultimate guide to conquer placements. Trusted by over 100,000+ geeks, this course is your roadmap to interview triumph.
Ready to dive in? Explore our Free Demo Content and join our Complete Interview Preparation