What is Computer Networking? What are 4 Types of Networks?

What is networking? What are 4 types of networks

What is Computer Networking? What are 4 Types of Networks?

Here we discussed Computer Networking, Types of Computer Networking(PAN, LAN, MAN, WAN), and its Uses & Advantages.

What is networking?

Networking, also known as computer networking, is the practice of transporting and exchanging data between nodes over a shared medium in an information system. Networking comprises not only the design, construction, and use of a network but also the management, maintenance, and operation of the network infrastructure, software, and policies.

Computer networking enables devices and endpoints to be connected to each other on a local area network (LAN) or to a larger network, such as the internet or a private wide area network (WAN). This is an essential function for service providers, businesses, and consumers worldwide to share resources; use or offer services, and communicate. Networking facilitates everything from telephone calls to text messaging to streaming video to the internet of things (IoT).

Computer Network Types

A computer network is a group of computers linked to each other that enables the computer to communicate with another computer and share their resources, data, and applications.

A computer network can be categorized by their size. A computer network is mainly of four types:

i. PAN(Personal Area Network)

ii. LAN(Local Area Network)

iii. MAN(Metropolitan Area Network)

iv. WAN(Wide Area Network)

Types of computer network


PAN (Personal Area Network):

i. Personal Area Network is a network arranged within an individual person, typically within a range of 10 meters.

ii. Personal Area Network is used for connecting the computer devices of personal use is known as Personal Area Network.

iii. Thomas Zimmerman was the first research scientist to bring the idea of the Personal Area Network.

iv. Personal Area Network covers an area of 30 feet.

v. Personal computer devices that are used to develop the personal area network are the laptop, mobile phones, media player, and play stations.

Personal Area Network

Two types of Personal Area Network:

i. Wired Personal Network

ii. Wireless Personal Network

Wireless Personal Area Network: Wireless Personal Area Network is a low range network. It is developed by simply using wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth.

Wired Personal Area Network: Wired Personal Area Network is a network which is created by using a USB.



LAN (Local Area Network):

i. Local Area Network is a group of computers connected to each other in a small area such as a building, office.

ii. LAN is used for connecting two or more personal computers through a communication medium such as twisted pair, coaxial cable, etc.

iii. It is less costly as it is built with inexpensive hardware such as hubs, network adapters, and ethernet cables.

iv. The data is transferred at an extremely faster rate in the Local Area Network.

v. Local Area Network provides higher security.

Personal Area Network


MAN (Metropolitan Area Network):

i. A metropolitan area network is a network that covers a larger geographic area by interconnecting a different LAN to form a larger network.

ii. Government agencies use MAN to connect to the citizens and private industries.

iii. In MAN, various LANs are connected to each other through a telephone exchange line.

iv. The most widely used protocols in MAN are RS-232, Frame Relay, ATM, ISDN, OC-3, ADSL, etc.

v. It has a higher range than Local Area Network (LAN).

Metropolitan Area Network

Uses of Metropolitan Area Network:

i. MAN is used in communication between the banks in a city.

ii. It can be used in an Airline Reservation.

iii. It can be used in a college within a city.

iv. It can also be used for communication in the military.


WAN (Wide Area Network):

i. A Wide Area Network is a network that extends over a large geographical area such as states or countries.

ii. A Wide Area Network is quite bigger network than the LAN.

iii. A Wide Area Network is not limited to a single location, but it spans over a large geographical area through a telephone line, fiber optic cable or satellite links.

iv. The internet is one of the biggest WAN in the world.

v. A Wide Area Network is widely used in the field of Business, government, and education.

Examples of Wide Area Network:

i. Mobile Broadband: A 4G network is widely used across a region or country.

ii. Last mile: A telecom company is used to provide internet services to customers in hundreds of cities by connecting their homes with fiber.

ii. Private network: A bank provides a private network that connects the 44 offices. This network is made by using the telephone leased line provided by the telecom company.


Advantages of Wide Area Network:

Following are the advantages of the Wide Area Network:

i. Geographical area: A Wide Area Network provides a large geographical area. Suppose if the branch of our office is in a different city then we can connect with them through WAN. The internet provides a leased line through which we can connect with another branch.

ii. Centralized data: In the case of a WAN network, data is centralized. Therefore, we do not need to buy the emails, files or back up servers.

iii. Get updated files: Software companies work on the live server. Therefore, the programmers get the updated files within seconds.

iv. Exchange messages: In a WAN network, messages are transmitted fast. The web application like Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype allows you to communicate with friends.

v. Sharing of software and resources: In the WAN network, we can share the software and other resources like a hard drive, RAM.

vi. Global business: We can do business over the internet globally.

vii. High bandwidth: If we use the leased lines for our company then this gives the high bandwidth. The high bandwidth increases the data transfer rate which in turn increases the productivity of our company.

Disadvantages of Wide Area Network:

The following are the disadvantages of the Wide Area Network:

i. Security issue: Security issues are more in a WAN network as compared to LAN and MAN network as all the technologies are combined together to create the security problem.

ii. Needs Firewall & antivirus software: A firewall is required to prevent the data transferred on the internet from hacking. Some websites can inject the virus in our system, so antivirus is essential to protect from such a virus.

iii. High Setup cost: An installation cost of the WAN network is high that also involves the purchasing of switches, routers.

iv. Troubleshooting problems: Fixing the problem is difficult as it covers a large area.


Wide Area Network



i. An internetwork is defined as two or more computer network LANs or WAN or computer network segments are connected using devices, and they are configured by a local addressing scheme. This process is known as internetworking.

ii. An interconnection between public, private, commercial, industrial, or government computer networks can also be defined as inter-networking.

iii. An internetworking uses the internet protocol.

iv. The reference model used for internetworking is Open System Interconnection (OSI).


Types of Internetwork:

1. Extranet: An extranet is a communication network based on internet protocol such as Transmission Control protocol and internet protocol. It is used for information sharing. Access to the extranet is restricted to only those users who have login credentials. An extranet is the lowest level of internetworking. It can be categorized as MAN, WAN or other computer networks. An extranet cannot have a single LAN; at least it must have one connection to the external network.

2. Intranet: An intranet is a private network based on internet protocol such as Transmission Control protocol and internet protocol. An intranet belongs to an organization which is only accessible by the organization’s members or employees. The main objective of the intranet is to share the information and resources among the employees of an organization. An intranet gives the facility to work in groups and for teleconferences.


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Intranet advantages:

i. Communication: It provides easy and cheap communication. An employee of the organization can communicate with another employee through chat and email.

ii. Time-saving: Information on the intranet can be shared in real-time, so it is time-saving.

iii. Collaboration: One of the most important advantages of the intranet is Collaboration. The information is distributed among the employees of the organization and only authorized users can access it.

iv. Platform independency: It is a neutral architecture as different architecture can be used to connect the computer with another device.

v. Cost effective: People can see the data and documents by using the browser and distributes the duplicate copies over the intranet. This leads to a reduction in the cost.

Takshila Learning makes the knowledge of computer networking concepts very simple and quick to learn. This is a very significant learning when it comes to the application of computers. An individual who wants to know about these networking types and advantages and anything related to their application should avail this knowledge through Takshila Learning to get a good grasp and understanding.

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Types of Computer Networking
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