Internet of Things (IoT) - Beginner to Expert

Types of Networks – LAN (Local Area Network) vs WAN (Wide Area Network) vs MAN (Metropolitan Area Network)

"LAN," "WAN," and "MAN" are acronyms that describe different types of networks based on their geographical scope. Here's what each term means:

LAN (Local Area Network):

  • A LAN is a network that is limited to a small geographic area, such as a single building, office, or home.
  • LANs are typically used for connecting devices like computers, printers, and other peripherals within a limited area.
  • They are often based on technologies like Ethernet and Wi-Fi.
  • LANs provide high data transfer rates and low latency due to their small coverage area.
  • Examples of LANs include a home network, a small office network, or a university campus network.

WAN (Wide Area Network):

  • A WAN is a network that covers a broader geographical area, often spanning cities, countries, or even continents.
  • WANs connect LANs over long distances, enabling data communication between geographically separated locations.
  • WANs typically use technologies like the Internet, dedicated leased lines, and satellite links.
  • WANs may involve higher latency and lower data transfer rates compared to LANs because of the greater distances involved.
  • Examples of WANs include the global Internet, corporate networks connecting offices across different cities, and telecommunications networks.
  1. MAN (Metropolitan Area Network):
  • A MAN is a network that falls between a LAN and a WAN in terms of geographical scope.
  • MANs cover a metropolitan area or a city, connecting multiple LANs within that area.
  • They are designed to provide high-speed connectivity within a city or a large campus.
  • Technologies like fiber optics and wireless connections are often used in MANs.
  • MANs offer faster data transfer rates than WANs but provide greater coverage than LANs.
  • Examples of MANs include city-wide Wi-Fi networks and university networks that link different campuses within a city.

In summary, LANs are confined to a small area, WANs cover large geographic regions, and MANs bridge the gap between these two by connecting LANs across a city or metropolitan area.

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Arjunagi Rehman
Rehman Arjunagi
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