Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)| Purpose, Types, Advantage

MAN (Metropolitan Area Network)

The Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) is a network of computers that usually covers a large city or a wide region.

MAN typically interconnects several local area networks (LANs), using fiber optic cables, with high-compact network infrastructure, which provides uplinks to the wireless networks (or WANs) and the Internet.

In this article we will go through the importance of MAN, its purpose, Advantages, and Disadvantages of MAN, Difference between LAN, WAN, and MAN. Where is MAN used and many more?

What is a Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)?

Metropolitan area Network (MANs) is a network that links users with computer resources in a geographic region or area greater than that of a Local Area Network (LAN), but smaller than a Wide Area Network (WAN).

The MAN covers an area of 10-50 kilometers and is the right option to create a network between factories/agencies and headquarters in one of the cities.

In general, a MAN (like a WAN) does not belong to one organization. Its communication links and infrastructure typically belong to either a user association or a network provider that provides the service to the customers.

Consequently, each customer will discuss this level of service with the MAN operator and some performance assurances would typically be specified.

A MAN is also a high-speed network that enables regional resources to be divided (similar to a large LAN).

It is also used mostly to connect to other networks with a link to a WAN.

Purpose of Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)

MAN (Metropolitan Area Network) is aimed at providing a long-term connection to the Internet.

MAN Network provides LAN internet access in the city and links them to larger area networks, such as the Internet.

Customer who has high capacity requirements in a metropolitan area is the main use of the MAN.

A MAN would have the capacity needed at a cheaper price, more reliability than the local telephone company’s equivalent service.

The MAN Computer Network covers the wider area of the network to make communication secure, business-friendly, and network security better.

MAN is capable of supporting text and voice data, and can even be associated with cable television networks or radio waves.

It also helps to link computer networks between cities.

Different types of MAN (Metropolitan Area Network) technologies

Following are the three different types of Metropolitan Area Networks used:–

  • Fiber distribution data interface – It is the most widely employed technology for developing a Metropolitan Area Network (MAN). In its network, it uses optical fiber. It’s known as the Metropolitan Area Network (MAN), as it can facilitate the transmission of data to thousands of users. FDDI is used as a data transfer standard which can be extended to about 200 kilometers.
  • Asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) – It is a technology for digital transfer developed in 1980 to facilitate real-time data transmission. In the ATM database, identical packets are isolated that is transferred over time. During video conferencing it was built to access high-quality audio and video items. It is suitable as a platform in the wide-range data network thanks to its ATM features. Asynchronous Transfer mode incorporates circuit switching and packet switching features that allow the transmission of data in real-time.
  • Switch Multi-Megabit Data Service (SMDS) – This refers to technology for data transfer which transfers through connectionless service. Information is transferred to a connectionless service by storing information onto the header that can be transmitted separately from any network to its destination. Small data packets are generated in SMDS as well as in Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM).

Advantages and Disadvantages of MAN

Some of the advantages of MAN are as follows –

  • High Speed compared to WAN – As MAN uses fiber optics, the data speed can reach 1000 Mbps quickly. The transfer rates for files and databases are fast.
  • Internet sharing – Users can share their internet connection by installing MANs. This helps many people to access the same high-speed internet.
  • High Security – It provides high security compared to WAN and LAN.
  • Not very expensive -Connecting MAN to the WAN network is less costly. MAN provides strong data efficiency. All MAN data can be centrally managed easily.
  • Provides easy data backup – Backup can be performed from various places easily and quickly.
  • Coverage – Network area coverage is wider compared to LAN and WAN.

Some of the disadvantages of MAN are as follows –

  • The Difference in Internet Speed – MAN can’t operate on traditional copper wires of the telephone. The speed would be extremely slow if MAN is mounted on copper wires. Installing fiber optics is quite expensive.
  • Attack by Hackers – In MAN, hackers on the network are highly probable than in the LAN. Data can be hacked easily. Data can be secured, however, highly qualified staff and safety equipment are needed.
  • More wires required – More cables are needed In MAN compared to LAN and WAN.
  • Managing is difficult -As MAN grows bigger, it’s hard to handle it. This is because of a safety issue and other additional settings.

Must Read :- List of Most Common Cyber Attacks

Difference between LAN, MAN, and WAN

Sl NoFeatureLANMANWAN
1SpeedSpeed of LAN is quite highSpeed of MAN is averageSpeed of WAN is lower than that of LAN.
2CongestionHas Lower congestion as compared to WANHas higher congestion compared to LANHas higher congestion than LAN and MAN
3MaintenanceMaintaining LAN is easy and less costly compared to WANMaintaining WAN is complex compared to LAN and is more expensive.Maintaining WAN is complex and more costlier compared to LAN and MAN.
4Fault ToleranceFault Tolerance is higher than WANFault Tolerance is lower compared to LANFault Tolerance is lower than both LAN and MAN.
5DelayNetwork Propagation delay is shorter in LANNetwork Propagation delay is moderate in MAN  Network Propagation delay is longer in WAN compared to LAN and MAN.
6OwnershipOften owned by Private organizationsOwnership can be either Private or by Public.Ownership can be either Private or by Public.
7UsesSchool, College, HospitalsCity or Small Towns.Country or Continent.
8AllowsSingle pair of devices to communicate with each other.Multiple computers are allowed to interact simultaneously.Huge group of computers interact simultaneously.
9Devices used for transmission of dataWiFi, Ethernet cables.Modem, Wire/CableOptic wires, Microwaves, Satellites.

How does a MAN work?

Usually, a MAN network is set up using fiber optics. The network is designed by routers and switches.

A switch is a port that typically operates in the form of frames to manage data filtration.

Every switch is a dual-port and, on the one hand, filters data and handles connections on the other.

Another tool to make network communication easier is the router. A router helps to find the direction to be taken by data packets. So, it keeps a track on the transfer of data, in other words.

Uses of Metropolitan Area Network

Following are some of the uses of Metropolitan Area Network

  • University Campus
  • Airports
  • Public libraries
  • Hospitals
  • Different branches of schools and colleges
  • Cable Television

LAN’s advantages over MAN (Metropolitan Area Network) and WAN are many, for example, LANs provide outstanding reliability, high data transmission rate, easily manageable, and even share peripheral devices.

The local area network cannot cover cities or villages and it requires a network of metropolitan area networks that can connect cities or groups.

In addition, the Wide Area Network is necessary for connecting a country or a group of countries.

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