A group of computers that share resources on or provided by network nodes and use a common communication protocol (such as digital interconnection) between links is referred to as a computer network.
Regarding the Computer Knowledge part of the significant Government Exams, Computer Networking is a very important topic, and questions are frequently asked about this concept.
This article provides detailed information on the different types of computer networks, their definitions and functions, and the different types of node devices.
What is a Computer Network?
Before reading this article to learn about types of computer networks, candidates should understand what networks are and how they affect the operation of one or more interconnected computers.
A group of computers that are linked together to exchange information and communicate with network nodes according to a similar used protocol is called a computer network.
If you only have one system on your network, that account can be as small or as large as you want. Nodes can be classified into different types. These include:
- Personal Computer
- Networking Hardware
- General Hosts
Computer Network Can Be Divided Into Three Categories.
1. Types of Computer Networks
Types of Computer Networks
There are various types of computer network options available. The classification of the network in the computer can be generated by size and purpose.
The size of the network should be expressed in terms of geographic area and the number of computers on the network. It includes devices from one device location to millions of devices worldwide.
The most often used kinds of computer networks:
–Personal Area Network (PAN)
–Local Area Network (LAN)
–Metropolitan Area Network (PAN)
–Wide Area Network (WAN)
Let’s look at each of these types of networks.
What is Personal Area Network (PAN)?
PAN (Personal Area Network) is a computer network built around people. A computer, a smartphone, or a personal digital assistant is typically included. PAN can be used to communicate between these personal devices connected to digital networks and the Internet.
Characteristics of PAN
Here are the main points of PAN.
- A network of personal devices, usually installed in a specific area.
- Manage the connection of computer tools in a single-user environment.
- PAN encompasses laptops, tablets, and mobile devices.
- It has a wireless connection option called WPAN for the Internet.
- Wireless mice, keyboards, and Bluetooth systems are devices used for PAN.
Advantages of PAN
The main advantages/benefits of the PAN network are:
- PAN networks are relatively safe and secure.
- Solutions only for short distances up to 10 meters
- Confined to a very narrow area
Disadvantages of PAN
The disadvantages of PAN Network are listed below:
- Connection to other networks on the same wireless connection may be poor.
- Distance limits.
What is a Local Area Network (LAN)?
A local area network (LAN) is a group of computers and devices connected in a limited space such as Schools, laboratories, homes, and office buildings. It is a widely useful network for sharing resources such as files, printers, games, and other applications. The simplest local area network connects computers and printers in a home or office. The LAN is usually used as one type of transmission medium. It is a network of less than 5,000 connected devices spread across multiple buildings.
Characteristic of LAN
The following are the main functions of a LAN:
- The network is private and never monitored by external regulators.
- Compared to other WAN systems, local area networks operate at relatively high speeds.
- There are several access control devices, such as token rings and Ethernet.
Advantages of LAN
The advantages of LAN are listed below:
- Computer resources such as hard drives, DVD-ROMs, and printers can be shared over a local network. This makes a significant difference when purchasing materials.
- Instead of buying licensed software for every customer on the network, you can use the same software across the network.
- All network user information can be stored on the computer server’s hard drive.
- You can easily exchange data and messages between computer networks.
- Easily manage data from one place and make it more secure.
- The local area network allows sharing a single internet connection with all local network users.
Disadvantages of LAN
Here are the cons/drawbacks of LAN:
- LAN reduces costs through shared computing resources, but the initial cost of setting up a LAN is quite high.
- Local network administrators can see the personal information of each local network user, so it can’t provide very good privacy protection.
- If local network management information is not stored centrally, unauthorized users can access critical management information.
- Local Area Network requires ongoing LAN management to support software and hardware issues.
What is a Wide Area Network (WAN)?
A Wide Area Network (WAN) is another large computer network that covers a wide geographic area. WAN network system could be a connection of LAN that connects to other local area networks through telephone lines and radio waves. It is generally limited to businesses or organizations.
Characteristic of WAN
A Wide Area Network has the following characteristics:
• All users share software documentation so everyone can access the latest files.
• Any business can create a globally integrated network through WAN.
Advantages of WAN
Here are some advantages of WAN as follows:
WANs are useful for covering large areas. So you will be able to communicate over long distances very easily.
This includes mobile phones, laptops, tablets, computers, and game consoles.
The WAN works through a radio transmitter and receiver connected to the client device.
Disadvantages of WAN
These are the drawbacks/cons of WAN:
The cost of initial investment is relatively expensive.
It’s hard to maintain the WAN network. It would help if you had technical experts and network administrators.
Increase errors and problems due to the spread and use of different technologies.
Due to the large number of wired and wireless technologies involved, warm-up is time-consuming.
Computers are less secure than other types of networks.
What is MAN (Metropolitan Area Network)?
A Metropolitan Area Network or WAN is a computer network that spans an entire city, campus, or small region. This type of network is much larger than Local Area Networks, which are typically limited to buildings or locations. Depending on the type of configuration, this type of network can cover an area of several thousand to tens of kilometers.
Characteristic of MAN
The following are the main characteristics of a MAN:
- They mainly cover cities with a maximum radius of 50 km
- Generally supported by fiber optics, cables
- Provides reasonable data rates for distributed computing applications.
Advantages of MAN
Here are the pros/benefits of the MAN network:
- Provision of high-speed transmission using high-speed communications such as Fiber optic cables.
- Offers excellent network bandwidth support and better WAN access.
- The dual bus in MAN networks allows data to be sent in both directions simultaneously.
- MAN networks usually cover several areas or entire cities.
Disadvantages of MAN
Here are the cons/drawbacks of using the MAN network:
- To build a MAN Connection from one location to another, more cable is required
- It is difficult to protect systems from hackers in MAN Network
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A computer network allows two or more connected computers to share data, resources, and applications. A large computer network is divided into four types based on size and function.
In IT, communication is based on computer networks. They are used in many different types and can cover many types of networks. A computer network is a collection of computers connected to exchange information.