What are the different types of computer networks? A computer network is an assemblage of computers and hardware interrelated by communication stations that permit distribution of properties and information. A way to classify the different types of computer network is by the scope or the scale of their operation. Common examples of the types of computer network are LAN or Local Area Network, WLAN or Wireless Local Area Network, WAN or Wide Area Network, MAN or Metropolitan Area Network, and many others.
Originally, there are only two main types of computer network – the LAN and the WAN. Through the development of technology, more and more new types of computer network have emerged. These are the ones that we have now.
The most basic and common types of computer networks are the LAN. These are networks of computers that are found in short distances or locations. A distinguishing factor of the LAN is that they are commonly owned by a single entity. This entity is also the one managing and handling all the things related to the LAN.
WAN is among the types of computer networks that covers a large distance. It can be a building to a town to a city to the whole world. Do you remember what computer networks spans the whole world? – The internet. The computers in these types of computer networks are connected by a router. Routers maintain the traffic of the computer networks as well as their IP addresses.
WLAN stands for wireless local area network. These are the types of computer network that are connected via a router that sends signals wirelessly – hence, the name. Wireless routers works the same as any other routers do. They are the one who manages the addresses of the computers that are connected to it as long as it brings the data to the computers that are connected.
MAN are metropolitan area networks. The term metropolitan is the giveaway here. These are types of computer network that can be found in a metro or a city. These networks of computers are larger than that of a LAN. However, they are still smaller than that of a WAN.
CAN stands for campus area network – another giveaway. You see, as the name implies, these are network types that are found in certain campuses, schools, and universities. These networks of computers are also connected by a router, a series of routers in fact. They are networks that are much larger than LAN but are still smaller than the MAN.
A clear example would be: a LAN can be found in a classroom. The classroom is in the campus. Therefore the connections of computers in the campus are considered CAN. However, the campus can be found in a certain city. They are a member of a network of computers, a MAN. But students are using their mobiles, laptops, tablets, and other wireless devices to connect to the largest possible network, the WAN. But they are connected to the WLAN first as this is what brings them to the internet.