With internet governing every part of our life, it becomes imperative to understand the different types of network technologies existing in this present time. ‘TypesOf.com’ takes this opportunity to explain what are network and the different types of network technologies.
Technology is expanding exponentially. And I make this statement without any hesitation. Only a 100 years or so ago, the computers we use today were of the size of a whole drawing room and today, it has become small enough to fit in our shirt pockets. And not only that, it has become faster and more efficient as well. More and more functions are becoming capable to being performed on them as compared to before. In ancient times, it could only be used for calculations. Not the uses of computers are too many to be listed. One of these uses is the capability of being connected to other computers. The use of CDs and Floppy discs to transfer any data from one computer to another is becoming old news. Instead, Emails are being conveniently used. Families and friends are coming closer and information is made available even in the most remote of corners of the earth with the use of different types of network technologies. So what really is a network?
A network is group of two or more computers linked together which are capable of sharing the data stored on them with the other computers they are connected with.
To understand the different types of network technologies, it is advisable to first learn about the different types of networks. There are broadly three types of networks. These are the LAN (Local Area Network), MAN (Metropolitan Area Network) and WAN (Wide Area Network).
LAN or Local Area Network as the name suggests, is a privately owned computer network that covers a small geographical area like a home, office or a hospital. LAN is used to connect computers together so that resources can be shared. These shared resources can be hardware, like printers and fax machines or software.
MAN or Metropolitan Area Network is a larger form of Local Area Network and as the name implies, this type of network connects the computers of an entire city. They do not range more than 100 kilometers and generally include television cable transmission or connecting a large number of LANs together.
WAN or the Wide Area Network, as the name suggests, spans over a very wide area. This includes a country, different countries and even different continents.
These different types of networks are connected with different types of network technologies.
LAN networks are generally connected using ARCNET and ETHERNET technologies. ARCNET is the oldest and the simplest of all the types of network technologies. ARCNET permits various kinds of transmission media such as coaxial cable, twisted pair wire and fiber optical cable to be used on the same network. It can have up to 255 nodes per network. ETHERNET on the other hand is a family of network technologies introduced for the LAN network. The Ethernet uses the IEEE 802.3 for standardization. IEEE 802.3 specifies the layers of Ethernet, both physical and lower. As for the access methods, Ethernet uses CSMA/CD to address multiple demands together. Another version of Ethernet, 100Base-T, more commonly known as the Fast Ethernet, supports 100 Mbps transfer rates. The latest Ethernet developed supports 1 gigabit data transfer rates and is known as the ‘Gigabit Ethernet’.
MANs use a type of network technologies called DQDB (Distributed Queue Dual Bus). DQDB uses two unidirectional cables(buses) and all the computers are connected on these buses.
By connecting different network service providers together, the WAN network is established. There is another type of network technologies called the WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) which provides wireless network over short distances using radio or infrared signals. They use the standard Ethernet technology to function.