A network is a set of devices connected by communication links. The devices are also called nodes. A node can be a computer, printer, or any other device capable of sending and/or receiving data generated by other nodes on the network.
There are basically three types of network:
LAN refers to Local Area Network. A local area network (LAN) is usually privately owned and links the devices in a single office, building, campus or whole organization. A LAN can be as simple as two PCs and a printer in someone’s home office; or it can extend throughout a company. LAN is limited to few kilometers.
WAN refers to Wide Area Network. A wide area network (WAN) provides long-distance transmission of data, image, audio, and video information over large geographic areas that may comprise a country, a continent, or even the whole world. A WAN connects many LANs to one another.
MAN refers to Metropolitan Area Network. A metropolitan area network (MAN) is a network with a size between a LAN and a WAN. It normally covers the area inside a town or a city. It is designed for customers who need a high-speed connectivity, normally to the Internet, and have endpoints spread over a city or part of city. A good example of a MAN is the part of the telephone company network that can provide a high-speed DSL line to the customer.
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