Types of Computer Networks

There are about eight types of networks which are used world wide these days, both in houses and commercially. These networks are used on the bases of their scale and scope, historical reasons, preferences for networking industries, and their design and implementation issues. LAN and WAN are mostly known and used widely. LAN, local area network was first invented for communication between two computers.


LAN operates through cables and network cards. Later WLAN, Wireless local area network was formed through LAN concept, there are no wires involved in communication between computers, and Wireless LAN cards are required to connect to wireless network. LAN is the original network out of which other networks are formed according to requirements. The network types are as follow.


LAN – Local Area Networks

LAN connects networking devices with in short spam of area, i.e. small offices, home, internet cafes etc. LAN uses TCP/IP network protocol for communication between computers. It is often but not always implemented as a single IP subnet. Since LAN is operated in short area so It can be control and administrate by single person or organization.

WAN – Wide Area Networks

As “word” Wide implies, WAN, wide area network cover large distance for communication between computers. The Internet it self is the biggest example of Wide area network, WAN, which is covering the entire earth. WAN is distributed collection of geographically LANs. A network connecting device router connects LANs to WANs. WAN used network protocols like ATM, X.25, and Frame Relay for long distance connectivity.

Wireless – Local Area Network

A LAN, local area networks based on wireless network technology mostly referred as Wi-Fi. Unlike LAN, in   WLAN no wires are used, but radio signals are the medium for communication. Wireless network cards are required to be installed in the systems for accessing any wireless network around. Mostly wireless cards connect to wireless routers for communication among computers or accessing WAN, internet.

MAN – Metropolitan Area Network

This kind of network is not mostly used but it has its own importance for some government bodies and organizations on larger scale. MAN, metropolitan area network falls in middle of LAN and WAN, It covers large span of physical area than LAN but smaller than WAN, such as a city.

 CAN – Campus Area Network

Networking spanning with multiple LANs but smaller than a Metropolitan area network, MAN. This kind of network mostly used in relatively large universities or local business offices and buildings.

SAN – Storage Area Network

SAM technology is used for data storage and it has no use for most of the organization but data oriented organizations. Storage area network connects servers to data storage devices by using Fiber channel technology.

SAN – System Area Network

SAN, system area networks are also known as cluster area network and it connects high performance computers with high speed connections in cluster configuration.