The first computer was built in 1936, which was a tremendous technological achievement. However, it took until years later, in 1969, for the first-ever computer-to-computer link to be established. This advancement served as the eventual spark for the Internet-driven world we live in today.
What, then, is a network? The sharing of files, resources, and communication is made possible by the joining of two or more linked computers. The kind of network depends on the number of devices as well as where they are located and how far apart they are from one another.
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Which network is used at your home or place of business? If not, take a look at the table below for a list of the types of computer networks.
What is a Computer Network?
A group of two or more networked computers that share files and resources utilising common communication protocols constitutes a computer network. Either cable or wireless media can be used to establish a computer network connection. Hardware and software are both used in every network that links computers and other devices.
Types of computer networks
PERSONAL AREA NETWORK (PAN)
There is no simpler or smaller network than this one. It is designed to only cover a small area (typically a single room or building). A PAN is frequently used for a single user and to link a few devices, such as a printer, computer, and smartphone. The PAN technology that is most well-known is probably the Bluetooth connection. So the next time you connect your phone to your car to play music, you can thank your personal area network!
LOCAL AREA NETWORK (LAN)
This form of network is commonly used and relatively well known. A local area network, or LAN, connects a number of computers or other devices together, as the name suggests. This form of network can be used to connect devices throughout a single building, or perhaps two or three, depending on how close together the buildings are. LAN connections are undoubtedly used at your workplace site, whether they are wired or wireless. This brings us to the next category of network.
WIRELESS LOCAL AREA NETWORK (WLAN)
In other words, a WLAN is a LAN that connects to the network wirelessly. Therefore, when utilising WiFi, you use a WLAN. The same situations where LANs are used frequently also apply to WLANs; depending on whether you desire an on-premises or remote cloud solution (wires or wireless).
METROPOLITAN AREA NETWORK (MAN)
A MAN incorporates elements from both sizes of networks and is larger than a LAN but smaller than a WAN. It connects many LANs and spans a considerable geographic area, such as a city or town (or sometimes a campus). Ownership and management are more likely to be handled by a larger company or organisation than by a single person.
WIDE AREA NETWORK (WAN)
You might be familiar with the term “WAN,” which is similar to LANs. In addition to serving the same purpose as LANs over a larger area, WANs connect more devices. Even when the distance between the equipment is hundreds of kilometres, a WAN can remotely connect them. In reality, the most basic illustration of a WAN is the Internet, which connects computers and other devices throughout the globe. Due to its vastness, this type of network is frequently administered by several administrators, and ownership is distributed among numerous businesses.
STORAGE AREA NETWORK (SAN)
The SAN is a different LAN architecture that works well for storing and processing massive data flows. The objective of this network is to move more complex, larger storage resources into a dedicated, high-performance environment, away from the network. This improves the overall performance of the original network, frees up storage, and allows for simple retrieval and storage of the data.
VIRTUAL PRIVATE NETWORK (VPN)
A VPN is designed to offer security and anonymity when establishing a network connection. The VPN acts as a middleman between you and the network by encrypting your data and masking your identity. This is a fantastic substitute for sending and receiving sensitive information, but a VPN is advised everytime you connect to the Internet. Your greatest option for ensuring your cybersecurity is to use a VPN because everytime you’re on a public network, you run the risk of being targeted by a hacker.
We have discussed the types of computer networks. When building a computer network for a business setting, you must consider a wide range of factors, such as network traffic, performance, security, redundancy, hardware, management, maintenance needs, and prices. However, you must quickly and carefully consider the physical scale of the network. Whether your office is dispersed over several locations in the same country or around the world, or if it occupies an entire floor of a building, each situation requires a unique network solution.