Types of networks

Types of networks

Types of networks.
Approach to the theory of network design.

Following the previous post, my niece asked me, what is a LAN? I promised her that later I would take the job of explaining in detail that of the LAN or WAN…
In this post we will see the different types of networks.

Local area networks – LAN

Local area networks (LAN) are the best known. Anyone in an office knows that their computer is connected to a local network and thanks to the Internet it is common that within our own home we have a local area network to service our personal devices.
As the definition is basically by extension of its location and not by the size of the network itself, we can find corporate LAN networks with hundreds of connected equipment. Precisely for that reason, the definition has no implication in its topology, nor in its complexity, nor does it mention the type of equipment that may be located in it.

Within the category of local area networks we can find some sub categories defined by their specific function and not by their size.

SAN networks

SAN networks (“Storage Area Network”) are designed to offer storage resources within the network. Generally, disk booths with different servers are used for information storage using independent wiring.

HAN or SOHO networks

SOHO networks, “Small Office-Home Office”, or HAN networks, “Home Area Network”, are names used to define the small local area networks that can be found in a home or office with few employees. It is a commercial denomination.

CAM networks

CAM networks “Campus Area Network” are those networks that link different nearby buildings, such as a university campus. Although this definition still exists, its use derives towards the LAN denomination when all buildings are in the same physical location or towards MAN networks when the different locations are dispersed within the city.

VLAN networks

The types of networks discussed above are physically connected but it is not the only possibility. VLAN (virtual LAN) networks are logically linked through protocols, ports, reducing network traffic, costs and improving security.

Wireless Local area networks – WLAN

Wireless local area networks, or “Wireless” LANs allow communication of devices within a local area without having to use any type of physical wiring infrastructure. The main advantage and the reason for its great expansion is the possibility of customer movement within the coverage area.
In homes, wireless networks are generally the only means of communication between devices. In work environments, the wired network is preferred for capacity, speed and stability and the wireless network is only a complement that favors mobility.

Middle area networks – MAN

Middle area, or metropolitan area networks are communications networks that cover a physical area that is larger than the local area network, but do not involve excessively large distances. Although there is no specific rule, we usually think of distances close to 50 km like that of a city, (hence the metropolitan). This distance has implications both in the type of existing connections and in its topology, designers generally opt for a network routing system that allows them to easily manage all communications since the requirements of headquarters interconnection and internal work of They require different capacities.
The MAN network concept only applies to the size of the network and its physical distribution, but not to its configuration, topology or infrastructure.

Wireless middle area networks – WMAN

It is the wireless version of MAN, and can have a range of tens of kilometers. This technology uses techniques based on the WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) communications standard. Its main advantage is the reduction of the cost, since it eliminates the wiring and physical connections between nodes. Its disadvantage is that it requires a much more demanding and robust security to avoid unwanted intrusions.

Wide area networks – WAN

Wide area networks or WAN, “Wide Area Network” imply the connection of different nodes that are at a great distance. Within the WAN networks are all networks with an area of influence superior to the metropolitan ones. Links between distant physical locations must be designed with this distance in mind. It is common to hire an operator that is responsible for managing communications over long distances but it is not mandatory, remember that the definition of WAN networks only refers to the scope of action and not to its topology or infrastructure used. These types of networks use routing protocols to manage traffic and are designed to achieve high redundancy in the service.

Personal area networks – PAN

PAN networks allow the transmission of information between devices focused on the use by a single person, these are devices that we can carry over like the mobile phone or that we have around us as printers or computers.

Wireless personal area networks- WPAN

Most connections in a PAM network are made using wireless technologies also called WPAN, “Wireless Personal Area Network”. The great advantage of these wireless technologies is that they allow users to navigate and maintain the connection advantages. The best known WPAN technologies are infrared and Bluetooth.

Internet network

The Internet is a global system of interconnected networks that use all the same communications protocol, the IP or “Internet Protocol”.
I will not extend too much in this network since later I will make one or several related posts.

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