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Types of Computer Network



LAN (Local Area Network) stands for local area network. It covers, as the name suggests, a local area. This usually includes a local office and they're also common in homes now.

Whether wired or wireless, nearly all modern LANs are based on Ethernet. 

There are two ways to implement Ethernet: twisted-pair cables or wireless. Twisted pair cables plug into switches using RJ-45 connectors, similar to phone jacks. Cables plug into switches, which can be connected to other networks. 


WAN (Wide Area Network), in contrast to a LAN, refers to a wide area network. The name is exactly what it sounds like: a network that covers an area wider than a LAN. Distances can range from a network connecting multiple buildings on a corporate or college campus to satellite links connecting offices in different countries. The most popular WAN is the one you're using to read this article: the Internet. It's actually a collection of other networks, including other LANs and WANs - hence, the name.

WANs can be wired, using fiber-optic cable, for example, or wireless. A wireless WAN might use microwave or infrared (IR) transmission technology, or even satellite. 


A MAN (Metropolitan Area Network) connects nodes located in the same metro area. For example, a company located in the Indore Area might have its buildings in Vijaynagar, Mangliya and Rau linked together via a network.

One of the most common ways for organizations to build this kind of network is to use microwave transmission technology. You might have seen a microwave antenna on a TV news van, extended high in the air, beaming video and sound back to the main TV studio.