Different types of networks- PAN, LAN, MAN, WAN

In this tutorial, we will discuss network types means we understand what are the different types of networks? so let’s discuss

What is a Network?

A network is a communication between two or more computer devices means when two or more devices are connected to each other for the purpose of communication is called a network.

Also Read:  What is a network and why we need it?

Types of Network

There are many different types of networks available. Network is not the only internet means the internet is also a network but there are many different ways we can create a network, if we connect two computers this is also a network or if we use Bluetooth for file sharing this is also a network. so in this tutorial, we will talk about many other different types of networks.

Network can be differentiated by their size, structure, distance, and purpose.

Networks can be divided by their geographical area and number of computers. So networks are divided mainly into four types:

  • PAN (Personal Area Network)
  • LAN (Local Area Network)
  • MAN (Metropolitan Area Network)
  • WAN (Wide Area Network)
Types of Network PAN, LAN, MAN, WAN
Types of Network PAN, LAN, MAN, WAN


PAN (Personal Area Network)

  • PAN means a personal area network is the smallest network which is very personal to a user.
  • This network is used in the personal space of a person that’s why this network name is a personal area network.
  • This network normally ranges within around 10 meters.
  • Personal area networks may include Bluetooth enable devices or infrared enable devices. So when we connect two devices using Bluetooth for data transfer then we create a network in our personal space.
  • All the Bluetooth devices like keyboard, mouse, Bluetooth-enabled headphones, speakers, etc all are the network which is used in the personal area.
  • Infrared enable devices like TV remote, cordless keyboard/mouse, infrared touch screen are also a part of the personal area network.


LAN (Local Area Network)

  • Local area network is a network, which is used in local areas means it is a small network that covers small areas like an office, school, college, building, etc.
  • In this network, we can connect computers, printers, servers, and other network devices.
  • Local area network is a privately owned network which means anyone can create this network easily we just need some cables like Ethernet cables or central devices like a hub or switch.
  • It is the most secured network because there is no outside connection with the local area network, so the data which is shared on the LAN network is safe and can’t be accessed outside.
  • LAN networks are small-size networks so they are considerably faster, data transfer speed over a LAN network can reach up to 1000 Mbps.
  • Using Ethernet cables, data transfer speed can reach up to 10 Mbps and by using FDDI or Gigabit Ethernet, data transfer speed can reach up to 1 Gbps.

Uses of Local Area Network

  • LAN networks are mostly used in businesses where all business data is stored on servers.
  • This network can be used in factories.
  • This network can be used in Schools and Colleges where all the students, teachers, and staff have all the data stored on servers.
  • This network can also be used in our homes where all the computers, mobiles, printers are connected to the switch/router, and these devices can exchange data.

Client/Server LANs vs Peer-to-peer LANs

A LAN network can be a client/server LAN or peer-to-peer LAN.

Client/Server LANs network is mostly used in business organizations where central servers are used and all the business data stored in a server. All the clients’ computers are connected to the central server where they can access data from the server.

Client-Server LAN network

Peer-to-peer LAN networks are mostly used in homes where all computers are connected to each other and can exchange data with each other without a server.

If your home computers, tablets, mobiles, smart TV, printer, etc all are connected to your home Wi-Fi connection then you are using a LAN network and all these devices are connected to your home central device and these devices can share data with each other through LAN network.

Peer to peer lan network



MAN (Metropolitan Area Network)

  • A Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) is a type of computer network that spans a metropolitan area, connecting multiple LANs (Local Area Networks) means it is a network, which is bigger than the local area network.
  • A network is referred to as a Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) when it covers a larger geographical area compared to Local Area Networks (LANs).
  • This network is used to connect devices in a city or metropolitan area, often for the purpose of providing internet access or sharing resources among businesses and organizations.
  • In other words, When two or more two LANs network connected for the purpose of communication then it becomes a MAN network. So these types of networks are bigger than the LAN network but also smaller than the WAN network.
  • For Example, a business company has many branches in different locations and every branch uses a LAN network. So the company connects all these LAN networks through a telephone line so now this network becomes a MAN network.
  • MAN’s network mostly uses fiber optic cables so this network’s data delivery rate is faster and more efficient. These networks are typically owned and operated by a single organization or consortium of organizations.

Uses of Metropolitan area network

  • MAN networks are widely used in cable television networks, available in the whole city
  • This network can be used in private industries.
  • This network can be used in universities or colleges.
  • This network can be used in military areas for communication.
  • This network also can be used in railways or airlines.

Also Read: What is network topology and its types?


WAN (Wide Area Network)

  • WAN means a wide area network is a wide network that means this network is used in large geographical areas like in the whole country or continent and uses common carriers like – satellite systems, telephone lines, etc.
  • In other words, when many LANs and MAN’s networks are connected to each other for the purpose of communication then it’s become WAN network because now the area of the network is too wide so it is called a wide area network.
  • This network generally covers larger distance areas (like states, countries, continents).
  • Actually, you are reading this article on the internet which is the largest WAN network in the world, where thousands of LAN and MAN networks are connected to each other.

WAN Network

Video Explanation on PAN, LAN, MAN, WAN

Frequently Asked Question: Types of Networks

Which type of network is commonly used in offices, buildings, or campuses?

LAN network is mostly in an office, building, or campus, etc. Using this network, we can connect devices and share data with each other.

Which type of network creates by the switch device?

Switch device helps to create a local network, where multiple devices can connect with the switch device locally and can communicate or share data with each other easily.
Switches use MAC addresses to forward data packets between devices on the same LAN, allowing them to communicate and share resources.
Switches can also be used to connect LANs together to form a wider network, such as a Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) or a Wide Area Network (WAN).

How can we create a local network?

To create a local network, we just need a hub or switch device and some Ethernet cables. We also need a NIC card, which should install on every connected device.
NIC is a physical card or chip, which contains MAC addresses, and helps to identify the device on the network. NIC card is important for every device, without it, that device cannot connect to the network.

What type of network is the Bluetooth device?

Bluetooth is a wireless technology that is used to create Personal Area Networks (PANs). PANs are networks that connect devices in close proximity to each other, typically within a range of about 10 meters.
It is a type of personal area network because it can only be used in our personal space. So when you share the data from the phone using Bluetooth then you create a network in your personal space.
Bluetooth-enabled devices, such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and headsets, can connect to each other using Bluetooth to share data, such as photos, music, and files, and to make phone calls. Bluetooth can also connect to other devices such as speakers, printers, and keyboards.
Bluetooth mouse, keyboard, headphone, etc. are the example of a personal area network.

Is T.V remote a type of personal area network?

Yes, T.V remote is a personal area network, because TV remotes use either infrared network or Bluetooth network.

Which type of network is cable television?

Cable television is a type of MAN network because this type of network is mostly created in cities.

What are the examples of MAN’s network?

There are several examples of Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs):
City-wide Wi-Fi networks: Many cities have implemented city-wide Wi-Fi networks that provide wireless internet access to residents and visitors throughout the city. These networks typically use a combination of wireless access points and fiber optic cabling to provide high-speed internet access to a wide area.
Corporate networks: Many large corporations have their own MANs that connect multiple buildings and locations within a city or metropolitan area. These networks use high-speed technologies such as fiber optics and microwave links to provide fast, reliable connections between different locations.
Educational networks: Universities and colleges often have their own MANs that connect multiple buildings and campuses within a city or metropolitan area. These networks are used to provide high-speed internet access, shared resources, and other services to students, faculty, and staff.
Public transportation networks: Some cities have implemented MANs that connect public transportation systems, such as trains and buses, to provide real-time information, payment processing and other services.
Public utilities: Some cities and municipalities have implemented MANs that connect public utility systems, such as water and power systems, to provide remote monitoring and control capabilities.
It’s important to note that MANs can be owned and operated by different entities such as cities, companies, universities, or other organizations. The technology used can be different as well, such as wireless or wired, and it may vary depending on the specific needs and requirements of the network.


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