The Four Types of Computer Networks Explained


In today's world of technology, getting information is very easy, thanks to a computer network. Because with the existence of a computer network, everyone in this world who uses a computer can share information with each other.

The Four Types of Computer Networks Explained

What is a Computer Network?

Based on the information we quoted from Wikipedia.com, a computer network is a telecommunications network that allows computers to communicate with each other by exchanging data.

Benefits of Computer Network

The main benefit that we can feel from the formation of a computer network is the ability to share resources (resource sharing) that we have, such as using printers, hard drives, CD ROMs and other peripherals together, exchanging data (file sharing) and communicating with each other (email, chat to video conference).

Dangers of Computer Network

Actually, the exact term may not be a loss, but the consequences of connecting our computer system to this computer network include security issues both in accessing various resources from unauthorized parties and security problems (virus threats) in the data exchanged.

Types of Computer Networks

The types of computer networks based on the coverage area can be divided into several types, namely PAN, LAN, MAN and WAN.

1. PAN (Personal Area Network)

PAN (Personal Area Network)
A Personal Area Network or also known as a PAN is a computer network used for communication between computer devices (including telephones and personal digital assistants) close to each other.

When we connect computers or other devices such as cellphones, PDAs, keyboards, mice, wireless headsets, cameras and other equipment that are quite close (4-6 meters) then we have formed a Personal Area Network. The most important thing is that in this PAN we ourselves control (authority) on all these equipment. In addition to being connected directly to a computer via a USB or FireWire port, PAN is also often formed with wireless technology such as Bluetooth, Infrared or WIFI.

2. LAN (Local Area Network)

LAN (Local Area Network)
Local area network (LAN) is a computer network whose network covers only a small area; such as campus computer networks, buildings, offices, in homes, schools or smaller ones. Currently, most LANs based on IEEE 802.3 Ethernet technology use switch devices, which have data transfer rates of 10, 100, or 1000 Mbit/s. In addition to Ethernet technology, currently 802.11b technology (or so-called Wi-fi) is also often used to form LANs. Places that provide a LAN connection with Wi-fi technology are usually called hotspots.

In a LAN, each computer has its own computing power, in contrast to the concept of a terminal dump. Each computer can also access the resources on the LAN according to the permissions that have been set. The resource can be data or a device such as a printer. On a LAN, a user can also communicate with other users using the appropriate application.

In contrast to a Wide Area Network (WAN), a LAN has the following characteristics:

  1. Has a higher data rate
  2. Covers a narrower geographic area
  3. Does not require telecommunication lines leased from telecommunications operators

Usually one of the computers in the computer network will be used as a server that manages all systems on the network.

Advantages of Using a LAN Network

Using a LAN network has many advantages, such as more efficient operating costs, more efficient use of cables. And another advantage that you can get is the connection of data transfer between computers to work quickly. In addition, using a LAN network it seems we also do not need a telecommunications operator to be able to create a LAN network.

Disadvantages of Using LAN Network

Of course, by choosing to use this one network, there are several drawbacks, such as the limited connection area coverage, so that it becomes one of the shortcomings of the LAN network.

3. MAN (Metropolitan Area Network)

MAN (Metropolitan Area Network)
Metropolitan area network or abbreviated as MAN is a network in a city with high-speed data transfer, which connects various locations such as campuses, offices, government, and so on. A MAN network is a combination of several LANs. The range of this MAN is between 10 to 50 km, this MAN is the right network to build a network between offices in one city between factories/agencies and head offices that are within its reach.

Advantages of Using MAN Network

Unlike the LAN network, this network itself can cover a wider area or area so that communicating with the internet becomes more efficient. The MAN network also makes it easier for you to do business. In fact, the security of communicating using this network has also become more secure.

Disadvantages of Using a MAN Network

Although telecommunications with this network can be said to be quite safe, it turns out that the MAN network is easily damaged by someone who is not responsible for taking personal advantage. In fact, repairing the MAN network also takes a long time.


Some of the technologies used for this purpose are Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM), FDDI, and SMDS. This technology is now in the process of being replaced by connection-based Ethernet (eg, Metro Ethernet) in most areas. MAN links between local area networks that have been built wirelessly using either a microwave, radio, or infrared laser link. Most companies rent or borrow circuits from common carriers because laying long cables over long stretches is expensive.

4. WAN (Wide Area Network)

WAN (Wide Area Network)
A wide area network (WAN) is a computer network that covers a large area, for example, a computer network between regions, cities or even countries, or it can also be defined as a computer network that requires routers and public communication channels.

WAN is used to connect one local area network with another local network, so that users or computers in one location can communicate with users and computers in other locations.

Advantages of Using a WAN Network

Besides being more sophisticated than LAN or MAN, this WAN network certainly has a very wide network area coverage. The more sophisticated technology is of course embedded in this mechanism. Automatically it also makes the WAN network can be connected more secretly and more securely. Because the scope can stretch between continents, this also affects the ease of doing business.

Disadvantages of Using a WAN Network

More sophisticated technology, wider coverage, and better security are certainly not cheap. Because of that, cost is the main thing to be considered in making a WAN network.






FAQ: The Four Types of Computer Networks Explained
The Four Types of Computer Networks Explained
The types of computer networks based on the coverage area can be divided into several types, namely PAN, LAN, MAN and WAN.
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