Types of Computer Network
Computer network can be classified according to their geographical area and their uses.
Depending upon the geographical area covered by a network, it is classified as:
- Local area network(LAN)
- Wide area network(WAN)
- Personal area network(PAN)
- Metropolitan area network(MAN)
- Campus Area Network (CAN)
- Home Area Network(HAN)
- Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN)
Depending upon the purpose by a network, it is classified as:
- Storage area network(SAN)
- Enterprise private network(EPN)
- Virtual private network(VPN)
Local Area Network (LAN)
A LAN is a small and privately owned network to provide local connectivity within a small region. "A region” refers to the same office, the same building, the same company and in the same schools. It provide different services like document management, sharing resources, workgroup scheduling, e-mail and fax communications services and other VOIP and unified communication. Some common LAN protocols are Ethernet, Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM), Token Ring and Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI).
Characteristics of a LAN include:
- Limited geographic operation up to 10 Km
- High speed data transfer rates
- Full time connectivity to local services
- Generally lower in cost than a WAN
- It uses mainly bus, ring and star topology
- LAN support a variety of transmission medium such as Ethernet ,fiber, wireless etc
- Requires little wiring, typically a single cable connecting to each device
Advantages and Disadvantages of LAN
- Lower in cost
- Sharing of Resources
- High Speed
- When number of nodes became increases then performance became decrease.
- Area covered is limited.
Wide Area Network
A WAN is used to transmit data and information over large geographical distances which may even span entire countries and continents. A WAN can contain multiple smaller networks, such as LANs or MANs. The Internet is a WAN, and connects computers all around the world together. Communication between networks is called internetworking. WAN may use advanced technologies such as Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM), Frame Relay, and Synchronous Optical Network (SONET). WAN may be managed by multiple administration.
Advantages and Disadvantages of WAN
- large geographical area
- Complicated and complex
- High cost
- Required high performance devices
- low security
- WANs use very expensive network equipment.
Personal area network
PAN is used to transmit data and information very shorter distances which control by a single person within a single building. . PAN has connectivity range up to 10 meters. PAN may include wireless computer keyboard and mouse, Bluetooth enabled headphones, wireless printers, mobile, tablet, IPAD and TV remotes. For example, Internet hotspot which may contain up to 8 devices connected with a single hotspot.
Advantages and Disadvantages of PAN
- PANs are efficient, cost-effective and convenient.
- security because it is control by single person
- Shorter distance up to 10 meter only
- Data rate is low compare to other network
Metropolitan area network
A MAN is a network designed to extend over an entire city. The MAN range of between 10 to 50 miles. This is a network which is larger than a LAN but smaller than a WAN.
A MAN may be single network [like a cable television network] or may be formed by connecting a large number of LANs [like a company using a MAN to connect to the LANs in all of it’s offices throughout a city].
Advantages and Disadvantages of MAN
- It is wider area than a LAN
- It is a large network connectedness, information can be disseminated more widely, rapidly and significantly.
- Data rate is slow compare to LAN
- Cost is higher than LAN, required more devices and cables to covered large area.
- It is difficult to mange.
Campus Area Network
Campus Area Network is larger than a LAN, but smaller than an MAN. It area cover a university , large school or small business. It is controlled by the campus tenant/ owner: an enterprise, university, government etc. The range of CAN is measured 1Km to 5Km.
Advantages and Disadvantages of CAN
- It can be wireless or wired network
- Multi-departmental network access
- Managed-service available
- High Bandwidth
- Difficult to managed.
Home area Network(HAN)
A Home area network(HAN) is a type of computer network that operate within a small area typically a home or small office. It connects home digital devices, such as PCs, mobile phones, tablets, smart watch , entertainment technology, thermostats, home security systems and smart appliances, into a common network. With the increasing availability of Internet service and affordable PCs, more people are networking their multiple PCs and network-capable devices to use a single broadband outlet, usually through a cable or DSL provider.
Advantages and Disadvantages of HAN
- Resource Sharing :- Network resources can easily share between devices like internet sharing .
- Easy to manage :- It is managed by single person.
- High Security :- Only know person can use resources.
- Easy Accessible
- If backbone network damaged than whole network become halt
- Lack of Wifi Password:- If wireless security very weak than hacker can use resources or damaged resources.
- Health :- The wave generated from wifi devices can harm brain.
Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN)
A wireless LAN or WLAN is a wireless local area network to communication over short distances using radio wave. Areas may range from a single room to an entire campus. The backbone of this network usually cables, with one or more wireless access points connecting the wireless users to the wired network. A WLAN can be built using any of several different wireless network protocols, most commonly either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Wireless LANs can contain many different kinds of devices including.
- mobile phones
- laptop and tablet computers
- Internet audio systems
- game consoles
- Internet-enabled home appliances
Advantages and Disadvantages of WLAN
- Portable :- A nodes can communicate without restriction within radio coverage.
- Planning :- wireless networks allow for communication without planning. Wired networks need wiring plans.
- Installation is quick and easy, and can eliminate the need of cable through walls / ceiling and wall / ceiling.
- Easier to provide connectivity in areas that are difficult to lay cable.
- Low Bandwidth due to interference.
- WLAN adapters costlier than ethernet adapters.
- Security is difficult to maintain.
- Increase in nodes reduce the data transfer rate.
- A device is operate within range of radio wave.
Storage area network(SAN)
A Storage Area Network (SAN) is a specialized, high-speed network joining servers and storage, including disks, disk arrays, tapes, etc. It provides block-level storage that can be accessed by the applications running on any networked servers. It consist of hosts, switches, storage elements, and storage devices that are interconnected with various technologies, topologies, and protocols.
A storage area network is typically assembled using three principle components: cabling, host bus adapters (HBA) and switches.
Advantages and Disadvantages of SAN
- Scalability :- It can add multiple device without limit of a handful of disks that are attach to a system
- Performance :- Data transmitted to and from a SAN is on its own private network partitioned off from user traffic, backup traffic and other SAN traffic. that why performance is not affected.
- Uptime:- SAN systems require no reboots to add new disks, to replace disks or to configure RAID groups.
- Versatile :- A SAN can be single entity, a master grouping of several SANs and can include SANs in remote locations.
- It provides long distance connectivity.
- Disaster Recovery :- A SAN is a reliable and fast data recovery solution.
- It is expensive to implement.
- Require high level of skill to maintain and troubleshoot problems.
Enterprise private network(EPN)
An enterprise private network is a network build by an enterprise/company to interconnect disparate offices to each other in a secure way over a network e.g., production offices, head offices etc. An enterprise private network is mainly build for sharing computer resources.
Advantages of EPN
- Security :- Their all communication are secure because they are encrypted.
- Sharing :- They shared their resource, for cost cutting.
- Centralize :- All offices of company connected to each other they sharing their message to each other very easily.
- It help in business continuity.
Virtual private network(VPN)
A virtual private network (VPN) is a network technology that creates a secure connection over a public network like Internet or a private network owned by a service provider. Big company, institutions, and government agencies use VPN technology to enable remote users to securely connect to a private network. for example, A company employee go for meeting out of country and urgently need company resources to access, then he can access resource by using VPN.
Educational institutions use VPNs to connect campuses that can be distributed across the country or around the world.
The most common types of VPNs are remote-access VPNs and site-to-site VPNs.
A remote-access VPN allows a users to establish secure connections with a remote computer network using a laptop or desktop computer connected to the Internet .
A site-to-site VPN allows offices to establish secure connections with each other over a public network such as the Internet.
Advantages and Disadvantages of VPN
- Cost :- It is inexpensive way to build a private network, because it uses internet for communication between sites is a cost effective alternative to expensive leased private lines and telephone charges associated with long distance are reduced.
- Security :- Virtual private networks uses higher level of secure communication when compared to other remote methods of communication.
- Scalability :- Virtual private networks are very flexible in terms of growing with the company and adding new users to the network.
- Mobility :- It allow users get connected with their company resources from anywhere in world using a public network.
- Bandwidth :- Bandwidth is major drawback of VPN, because public network very slow compare to Leased line.
- VPN security must configured properly otherwise it easy for hacker to compromise the company resources.
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