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Dated: Nov. 28, 2013

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Networking In General

There are various types of computer network designs but due to some reasons we won't bother to explain all networks are referred to as an area network. The most notable area networks are LAN (Local area network), WAN (Wide are network), PAN (Personal area network), WLAN (Wireless local area network) and many others.

The basic network categories are LAN and WAN, they were the first one to be created and then after them all the other network types have been created.

LAN - Local Area Network

This network works in a way that it connects networking devices over some short distances. They are usually found in buildings, homes or schools. The most common owners of LAN networks are individuals or some organizations.LAN

WAN - Wide Area Network

Judging by the name, Wide area networks cross bigger distances, unlike LANs. The biggest WAN is the Internet. A Wide area network is a collection of numerous LANs. Routers are used as a link between LANs and WANs. There are a few major difference between WANs and LANs aside to the distances they cover. WANs usually use Frame relays and X.25 for connecting over bigger distances and they are usually owned by nobody as you can see in the example of the Internet.

LAN, WAN and Home Networking

In homes you will most often find LANs and then connect to the big WAN (the Internet) by using ISP which is their personal Internet service provider.

They way ISP works is that they give a WAN IP address to the modem, and on the other hand there are private IP addresses that are used by the computers.

It is possible for computer in a LAN to communicate with each other but they must go through a central gateway to do so. That gateway is usually a router.

Other Types of Area Networks

We mentioned the most well known networks above but there are other that, although very popular too, are not so well known to the general public. They are the MAN (Metropolitan Area Network) which usually spans across a single city. It lies somewhere between a WAN and a LAN. A CAN is a Campus area network and is usually found on campuses or universities. It lies between a LAN and a MAN. A Storage area network is used to connect servers to devices that store data. A System Area Network is used to link fast computers into clusters.

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