Types of Network | Different types of Computer Networks – Explained

Types of Computer NetworkExplained

This article discusses some of the most common types of computer network structures and functions, Advantages and disadvantages of the network, etc.

A network is described as a group of two or more interconnected computer systems.

So many different types of computer network exist, the differences between them can hardly be understood, particularly those that have very similar names.

What are computer networks and different types of network?

The Computers are connected to the network via network devices including Hub, Switch, Routers, Network Interface Card (NIC), wireless and wireless (Antenna) connections.

The network, which is the backbone of IT development, plays an important role in connecting all including computers, machines, appliances, gadgets on Earth in the modern world.

The computer network is of different kinds. The size and purpose of Computer Networks can be different.

The geographical area of the network and the number of computers that are part of the network can be determined by the size of the network.

In a single space, networks can cover anything from a handful of devices to millions of devices across the entire world.

Computer Networks can be of the following types:-

  • Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN)
  • Personal Area Network (PAN)
  • Campus Area Network (CAN)
  • Storage area network (SAN)
  • System Area Network (SAN)
  • Passive Optical Local Area Network (POLAN)
  • Enterprise private network (EPN)
  • Virtual private network (VPN)

Let us take a closer look at each of these.

Personal Area Network (PAN)

Used primarily in a home environment, connecting one or more computers, printers, phones, and other personal equipment via wired or wireless modems.

These networks usually exist in small offices or homes and are operated from a single unit by a single individual or organization.

Local Area Network (LAN)

LAN connects computers and equipment inside a building or premises, allowing local users to exchange information via file servers, print documents using centralized printers, transact over central servers, and secure links to external networks using a firewall, routers.

LAN may be a simple network, such as connecting two computers, to share files and networks, while still being as complex as connecting a whole house.

LAN networks are often widely used to share resources such as printers, hard drive shares, etc.

Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)

MAN (Metropolitan Area Network) integrates a variety of LANs into a wider network in a metro region.

The MAN devices are optical fibers and cables and support the distributed framework for applications. Users can share information and resources through MAN and access can be restricted when needed.

As a service to essential business applications, MAN offers a forum for Organizations to organize their Near DR Center in an intra-city facility.

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Wide Area Network (WAN)

WAN (Wide Area Network) links several LANs and MANs to a secured single-wide network across specific geography.

This includes large parts of a country and worldwide. WAN connects LAN / MAN routers to the public leased network, MPLS, and  Satellite connectivity.

A company with multi-location facilities may provide one network and centralize the operation of the data center and host an application through the WAN on a primary site.

Users can log in seamlessly and share resource information from anywhere within the network and access centralized ERP.

Storage Area Network and System Area Network (SAN)

The Storage Area Networks do not rely on the LAN or WAN for a storage area network as a dedicated high-speed network linking shared pools of storage systems to multiple servers.

They then transfer storage resources from the network and bring them into a high-performance network.

SANs can be connected to a server the same way as a drive.

The System Area network is used to describe a relative network to provide high-speed connections in server-to-server applications, storage area networks (also referred to as ‘SANs’), and processor-to-processor applications.

Computers connected to a SAN run with very high speeds as a single device.

Enterprise Private Network (EPN)

EPN is developed by companies across all departments linking computers and devices for data exchange purposes.

This network manages all of the communication systems in the operating systems and maintains a safe connection.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

VPN (Virtual Private Network)

A private virtual network extends a private network into a public network and enables users to send and receive data via shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to a private network.

Therefore, the reliability, safety, and privacy management of VPN applications can benefit.

POLAN (Passive Optical Local Area Network)

POLAN technology can be embedded in structured cables as an alternative to traditional switch-based Ethernet LANs to address concerns over support for modern Ethernet protocols and network applications such as PoE (Poet Control over Ethernet).

POLAN uses optical splitters, a point-to-multipoint LAN architecture for splitting an optical signal from a single-mode optical fiber strand into a variety of signals to support users and devices.

Campus Area Network (CAN)

A campus area network is a computer network consisting of local area network interconnections (LANs) within a specific geographical area.

The networking devices (switches, routers) and transmission media (optical fiber, copper plant, cabling Cat5, etc.) are owned almost entirely by the campus owner: a corporation, university, government, etc.

Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN)

A wireless, local area network (WLAN) is a wireless computer network that connects two or more wireless devices within a confined area, such as a home, school, computer lab, or office building.

It helps users to move around and be connected to the network within a local area.

A WLAN access to the wider Internet can also be provided by a gateway.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Networks

Some of the advantages are as follows: –

  • Enables centralized hosting/data storage applications and users who access them in a safe way through LAN, MAN, and WAN.
  • Results in considerable cost savings through centralized management.
  • It provides users with real-time info.
  • It provides the integrity of data.
  • Enables net banking transactions in all geographies.
  • Optimizes the use and usage of software licenses.
  • It provides employees with a collaborative platform and reduces travel costs.

Some of the disadvantages are as follows: –

  • Cyber threats weakness due to the network’s external visibility.
  • Costs are huge.
  • Sensitive data must be encrypted and firewall-protected.
  • Due to its size and scope, network management is a challenge.

Networks provide much-needed background infrastructure for digital technologies through device interconnections.

We hope that this article on types of network will definitely help you out in understanding various computer networks and their uses. Please do comment on any query regarding the topic.

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