Computer Network

Q.Explain Personal Area Network (PAN), Local Area Network (LAN), Wide Area Network (WAN) and Internetwork.


1.1 Personal area network (PAN)?

A personal area network (PAN) connects electronic devices within a user’s immediate area. The size of a PAN ranges from a few centimeters to a few meters. One of the most common real-world examples of a PAN is the connection between a Bluetooth earpiece and a smartphone. PANs can also connect laptops, tablets, printers, keyboards, and other computerized devices.

PAN network connections can either be wired or wireless. Wired connection methods include USB and FireWire; wireless connection methods include Bluetooth (the most common), WiFi, IrDA, and Zigbee.

While devices within a PAN can exchange data with each other, PANs typically do not include a router and thus do not connect to the Internet directly. A device within a PAN, however, can be connected to a local area network (LAN) that then connects to the Internet. For instance, a desktop computer, a wireless mouse, and wireless headphones can all be connected to each other, but only the computer can connect directly to the Internet.

1.2 What is a LAN (local area network)?

A local area network (LAN) is a network contained within a small geographic area, usually within the same building. Home WiFi networks and small business networks are common examples of LANs.

LANs can also be fairly large, although if they take up multiple buildings, it is usually more accurate to classify them as wide area networks (WAN) or metropolitan area networks (MAN).

How do LANs work?

Most LANs connect to the Internet at a central point: a router. Home LANs often use a single router, while LANs in larger spaces may additionally use network switches for more efficient packet delivery.

LANs almost always use Ethernet, WiFi, or both in order to connect devices within the network. Ethernet is a protocol for physical network connections that requires the use of Ethernet cables. WiFi is a protocol for connecting to a network via radio waves.

A variety of devices can connect to LANs, including servers, desktop computers, laptops, printers, IoT devices, and even game consoles. In offices, LANs are often used to provide shared access to internal employees to connected printers or servers.

1.3 What is a wide area network (WAN)?

A wide area network (WAN) is a large computer network that connects groups of computers over large distances. WANs are often used by large businesses to connect their office networks; each office typically has its own local area network, or LAN, and these LANs connect via a WAN. These long connections may be formed in several different ways, including leased lines, VPNs, or IP tunnels (see below).

The definition of what constitutes a WAN is fairly broad. Technically, any large network that spreads out over a wide geographic area is a WAN. The Internet itself is considered a WAN.

1.3 Metropolitan area network (MAN)?

A metropolitan area network (MAN) is a computer network that connects computers within a metropolitan area, which could be a single large city, multiple cities and towns, or any given large area with multiple buildings. A MAN is larger than a local area network (LAN) but smaller than a wide area network (WAN). MANs do not have to be in urban areas; the term “metropolitan” implies the size of the network, not the demographics of the area that it serves.

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