Networking Guide

Introduction The OSI Reference Model
Physical Media Cat 5 Wiring Scheme
Network Components Network Topologies
Network Architectures Network Types
 
 

Networking Guide : Network Types

Based on their coverage, networks are classified into PAN, LAN, MAN, WAN.

PAN (Personal Area Network) is a network that connects computers, peripherals and other devices within a personal operating space. PAN is typically implemented using wireless (RF) technologies, i.e.  ZigBee (low rate), Bluetooth (medium rate) and WiMedia/UWB (high rate). PAN coverage is about 10 to 100 meters.

PAN
Picture: PAN
Three Bluetooth devices form a PAN.

LAN (Local Area Network) is a network that connects computers, peripherals and other devices within a building (e.g. office, home) or in a limited area. Typical LAN coverage is about 50 to 300 meters. LAN is also known as campus network. Most LANs today are implemented using Ethernet. Wireless LAN using Wi-Fi technology also grows in popularity as an alternative to Ethernet.

LAN
Picture: LAN
Computers and printers in an office network.

 
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