Types of networks

Depending the nature of the distances, protocols ( the set of rules used for communication) the network can be classified into LAN (Local Area Network ), MAN (Metropolitan Area Network ) and WAN ( Wide Area Network).

Local Area Network (LAN)

A LAN (local area network) is a group of computers and network devices connected together, usually within the same building. By definition, the connections must be high-speed and relatively inexpensive (e.g., token ring or Ethernet). They function to link computers together and provide shared access to printers, file servers, and other services.

Any individual computer connected to a network is called workstation. A workstation may not need a floppy disk or hard disk. A LAN or local area network connects computers and peripherals in a limited area. LAN requires cables to connect workstations. For example LAN is used in a hall or within a building.

Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)

A MAN ( Metropolitan Area Network) is used to connect computers to cover the city or town. The range may be approximately 50 Kilometers. Normally cables and fiber optic cables are used to connect computers. The routing of the messages are fast. Normally central library in a city may be connected by a MAN, so users can access the information.

Wide Area Network (WAN)

A WAN (Wide Area Network) covers large distance like state, country or continents. The WAN uses the fiber optics, cables and even satellites also. Here communication circuits are connected with the help of hardware device called routers. Routers forward small pieces of information called packets from one to another. Internet is the popular one comes under WAN. Some of the examples makes use of internet are reservation of airplane tickets, railway tickets and even cinema tickets. Another facility called e-commerce, where business is carried out through internet. Here people can buy books, articles and so on through registering their wants through the internet.