Types Of Networks

Types of Networks: LAN, WAN, MAN, VAN, CANs, HANs, etc.


Network Types

Networking of PCs has been developed for all levels, from local to international, in diverse sectors of society. Examples are networks used by government organizations for rapid retrieval of information from database at central locations. Natworks are used by banks and retail merchants for the transfer of funds or credit verification. PCs used corporate offices to get information of activities at its branch offices,etc. The following are the types of computer networks:


A LAN connects network devices over a relatively short distance. A networked office building, school, or home usually contains a single LAN, though sometimes one building will contain a few small LANs (perhaps one per room), and occasionally a LAN will span a group of nearby buildings. In TCP/IP networking, a LAN is often but not always implemented as a single IP subnet. In addition to operating in a limited space, LANs are also typically owned, controlled, and managed by a single person or organization.

Network Type Technology Range Speed
Local Area Network (LAN) Ethernet, Wi-Fi Within a building or campus 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps


As the term implies, a WAN spans a large physical distance. The Internet is the largest WAN, spanning the Earth. A WAN is a geographically-dispersed collection of LANs. A network device called a router connects LANs to a WAN. In IP networking, the router maintains both a LAN address and a WAN address.

Network Type Technology Range Speed
Wide Area Network (WAN) Fiber optics, Satellite, Microwave Across cities, countries, or continents 1 Kbps to 100 Gbps


WLAN uses wireless technology such as Wi-Fi to connect devices within a limited area, removing the need for physical cables. It's commonly used in homes, cafes, airports, and offices.

Network Type Technology Range Speed
Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) Wi-Fi Within a limited area Up to 1 Gbps (Wi-Fi 6)


MAN is a larger area than that of a LAN and smaller area as compared to WAN. It connects two or more computers that are apart but resides in the same or different cities. It covers a large geographical area and may serve as an ISP (Internet Service Provider). MAN is designed for customers who need a high-speed connectivity. Speeds of MAN ranges in terms of Mbps. This network hard to design and maintain.

Network Type Technology Range Speed
Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) Fiber optics, Wireless City or metropolitan area 1 Mbps to 1 Gbps


PAN is the smallest type of network, typically connecting devices within the personal space of an individual, like smartphones, tablets, and wearable devices.

Network Type Technology Range Speed
Personal Area Network (PAN) Bluetooth, Zigbee Personal space of an individual Up to 1 Mbps


VAN is a communication channel leased from a telephone company to offer customers with modems access to network services through a local or toll-free number.

Network Type Technology Range Speed
Value-Added Network (VAN) Various Across specific industries Varies based on application


CAN is the computers are within a limited geographic area, such as a campus or military base. You can referring to "CAN" as "Campus Area Network" too, that's also a valid use of the term.

Network Type Technology Range Speed
Controller Area Network (CAN) CAN bus Within vehicles Up to 1 Mbps


HAN is a network contained within a user's home that connects a person's digital devices, such as smart appliances, computers, and entertainment systems.

Network Type Technology Range Speed
Home Area Network (HAN) Powerline, Wi-Fi, Zigbee Within a household Varies based on technology


In a P2P network, devices communicate directly with each other without the need for a centralized server. This type of network is often used for file sharing, collaboration, and distributed computing.

Network Type Technology Range Speed
Peer-to-Peer Network (P2P) Ethernet, Wi-Fi Within a limited area Varies based on devices


VPN extends a private network across a public network like the Internet, allowing users to securely access resources as if they were directly connected to the private network. It's commonly used for remote access and to enhance privacy and security.

Network Type Technology Range Speed
Virtual Private Network (VPN) Internet Across the Internet Varies based on Internet speed

Other Network Types:

  • EPN (Enterprise Private Network)
  • POLAN (Passive Optical Local Area Network)
  • SAN (System Area Network/Storage Area Network)

Note: These are just a few examples, and there are many other specialized types of networks tailored for specific purposes, such as storage area networks (SANs), campus networks, and content delivery networks (CDNs).

Category: Networking

on: 28 Jan 2019

on: 14 Apr 2024

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