There are several types of computer networks, each designed for specific purposes and catering to different scales and environments. Here are some common types of computer networks:
Local Area Network (LAN): A LAN is a network that connects devices within a limited geographical area, such as a home, office, or school. LANs are typically used to facilitate communication, resource sharing, and data transfer between devices in close proximity. Ethernet and Wi-Fi are common technologies used for LANs.
Wide Area Network (WAN): A WAN spans a larger geographical area, connecting multiple LANs and other networks across different locations. WANs often utilize public or private telecommunication networks, such as leased lines or the internet, to enable communication between distant sites. WANs are commonly used by organizations with branches in different cities or countries.
Metropolitan Area Network (MAN): A MAN covers a larger area than a LAN but smaller than a WAN, typically encompassing a city or a metropolitan region. MANs are designed to connect multiple LANs within a specific area, providing high-speed connectivity for organizations operating across different locations within the city.
Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN): A WLAN, also known as Wi-Fi, allows devices to connect to a network without the need for physical cables. It enables wireless communication and access to the internet within a limited area, such as a home, office, or public hotspot. WLANs use wireless access points to transmit and receive data between devices.
Campus Area Network (CAN): A CAN is a network that spans multiple buildings within a university campus, corporate campus, or any large-scale organization. CANs are designed to provide connectivity between different departments or buildings within the same location, facilitating data sharing and communication.
Storage Area Network (SAN): A SAN is a specialized network that enables high-speed data transfer and storage consolidation. It connects servers and storage devices, allowing multiple servers to access storage resources simultaneously. SANs are commonly used in enterprise environments that require large-scale data storage and centralized management.
Virtual Private Network (VPN): A VPN is a secure network that extends a private network across a public network, such as the internet. It enables remote users to securely access resources on a private network as if they were directly connected to it. VPNs use encryption and tunneling protocols to ensure data privacy and security.