What is Computer Network LAN, WAN, MAN, SAN, CAN, PAN and GAN?

What is a Computer Network?

A computer network is a collection of computers that use standard computer communication protocols to share information and resources between the various nodes in the system. A computer network consists of all the computers belonging to a single network, many network devices, a few physical links, and some physical connections that form the internet. There are two types of networks, primary and secondary, which include Ethernet, Fibre Channel, Infrared, Token Ring, and Layer 2 Switching.

Primary Computer Network

The primary Computer network consists of those connected directly to the central processing unit (CPU) or the central processing unit network (CPU/CPNI). The network devices used for this purpose are hubs that act as the computer network nodes and have multiple interfaces connected to other nodes. The different type of network comprises those connected through routers or firewalls, which are used to connect to other computers in various networks. An IP address can be assigned to a computer on the primary network, and then it is assigned to a network device that can be an interface such as a router, a switch, or a gateway. These networks are used for various purposes, such as creating a secure link between the systems, monitoring security, and maintaining the networks.

Secondary Computer Network

The secondary Computer network consists of computers in the secondary network. They are usually connected to the primary network through the internet. This network contains many different types of networking devices, including Ethernet cabling, Fibre Channel cabling, Infrared cabling, Token Ring cabling, and Layer 2 Switching cabling. In Ethernet’s case, the Ethernet cable is used for connecting the computers to the Ethernet switch, which then acts as a router. The Fibre Channel cabling is used for connecting the computers in the secondary network. In the case of Infrared, the infrared cables are used for connecting the computers through a modem. In the case of the Token Ring, the devices are connected through an ethernet card.

There Are many types of Computer network LAN, WAN, MAN, SAN, CAN, PAN, And GAN.

LAN-Local area Network


A local area network (LAN) is simply a network that interconnects multiple computers in a limited geographical area, like a house, office, laboratory, school, college, or university building. This type of network is used for connecting several computers. It is considered one of the fastest ways to communicate with computers and share files without depending on any external third party. 

LANs usually have small scale networks with limited bandwidth. The LAN network of a residential household consists of a single computer, which acts as the central location from where data is exchanged between the computers in the Network.

The cost of Internet service can vary depending on the speed of the connection. Generally speaking, dial-up is the cheapest, and broadband is the most expensive. To help reduce the cost of Internet access, it is advisable to limit the number of computers connected to the LAN. Although this may seem to be limiting, in reality, the LAN is used not just for sharing files but also to provide the Internet service to a specific area or a particular group of people. This computer network basically for the local area or building.

WAN- Wide area network

wide area network

A high-speed, Digital network, which means a wide-area network(WAN), is a communications network that extends over a vast geographical area for the sole purpose of digital computer networking. Wide area networks are generally established with leased or hosted telecommunication circuits, rather than a dedicated infrastructure. They typically operate on data networks. Broadband and other data-based services, such as voice and fax, are provided through the service provider’s WAN. The cost of establishing a WAN is often much more than a conventional LAN network, but it may be worth it for some applications, especially in larger enterprises. Its computer network for a wide area.

It provides high-speed communication links across a wide geographical area. High-speed WAN links can transmit voice and video over long distances without any delays or interruptions. This makes them ideal for applications requiring multiple connections between different locations, such as in corporate environments where a wide geographical area is spread across various sites. They are also useful for connecting computers located in other parts of the country or even in other parts of the world. Also, because they use an analog signal for communication purposes rather than a digital signal, they can transfer data at much higher speeds, thereby increasing the amount of information transmitted at one time. Also, they do not require any wiring, making them more economical to set up.

WAN networks usually come with high-quality services and features. They are generally equipped with Ethernet, fiber optic, and other advanced technologies that enable data to be transferred rapidly. They can also be accessed from multiple computers at once, eliminating the need for manual physical access. Some WAN networks also include video and audio conferencing, video streaming, and other networking features. Some WANs are also used to provide remote access services, which allow users to access applications, servers, and other applications over the Internet. However, most WAN networks are designed for local network connectivity, such as connecting a desktop terminal to the Internet. For these purposes, many WAN services provide a standard dial-up connection, with the option of upgrading to a faster service late

MAN – Metropolitan area network

metropolitan area network
Image Source: JavaTpoint

A metropolitan area network, otherwise called a MAN, is a system of interconnected computers, typically with a network connection via the internet, which interconnects users to various computer resources at a particular geographical area of the same size as a metropolitan region. An urban or mega-city area typically has more than one metro area. Each of these areas usually consists of several smaller metropolitan areas, and thus, multiple metropolitan networks connect users to numerous computers and other resources. 

SAN – Storage area network

 Storage area network

A storage area network (SAN) or storage network is a computer network that provides secure, segregated, block-level access to consolidated, logical storage. SANs are typically used to access physical storage devices, including tape libraries, and block arrays from centralized servers to make the devices appear like direct-attached storage (NAS). SANs offer users better access control and security than traditional SANs (network-attached storage) because of the security features and partitioning used within the SAN. This gives administrators greater control over access, particularly for corporate networks, and helps minimize the risk of data loss due to accidental deletion or corruption of device partitions and other network storage devices.

Storage area networks (SANs) are generally designed for either single nodes or multiple nodes. SANs also allow various applications to share the same centralized storage as opposed to various virtual servers. For instance, two or more file servers in a single network can be linked to each other by using a SAN adapter and allow applications such as Microsoft Exchange to communicate with one another in an organized fashion. SANs can also provide multiple VLANs for network adapters, allowing different VLANs to have their unique IP addresses.

Networking hardware is the most critical component of a SAN, as it provides a secure connection between servers and the various devices in the network. The most common form of network hardware used in a SAN is the Fibre Channel, which supports data rates of up to 100GBps. In addition to providing the higher data transfer rates, Fibre Channel is also compatible with many other hardware devices such as FireWire, PCI Express card, USB, etc. making it possible to connect any device with a standard USB port to a Fibre Channel capable device. The most commonly used networking hardware in a SAN is a Fibre Channel Card (FCS) capable of providing networked storage capabilities. Other widely used networking hardware components are Fibre Channel Switched Networks, Ethernet cards, routers, switch or firewall ports, etc.

CAN – Controller area network

Controller area network
A Controller Area Networks (CAN) is a robust device bus protocol explicitly designed for microprocessors and networked devices to communicate directly with one another’s programs without using a local computer. While CAN is a very robust communication protocol, it also has several flaws and vulnerabilities that are the reason why many manufacturers recommend avoiding using a CAN bus to connect your networked device or microprocessor to the internet.
One of the flaws with an Area Network is that it is susceptible to security attacks. This security vulnerability can be exploited by hackers who can intercept data or hijack control of the network. Some common areas hackers can attack include the Ethernet, USB, or FireWire ports to bypass security measures, and the serial ports to extract information. In the case of an Ethernet port, hackers can intercept data between CAN computers.
Because of the CAN protocol’s many vulnerabilities, security measures must be used to ensure data integrity and security. The CAN security system can consist of a security processor, an access control module, and a watchdog that can be triggered when a security breach occurs. Security processors are responsible for processing all security breach alerts. Access control modules will perform the security breach detection on the network to prevent unauthorized access to the system. Finally, the watchdog will act as a control for all the monitored servers. By following these guidelines, you will protect your network from attacks made possible through a CAN bus connection.

PAN – Personal area network

Personal area network
Image Source:ResearchGate

A personal area network (PAN) is an interconnecting computer network designed around an individual’s workspace. A typical PAN provides direct data transmission between various electronic devices, including laptops, smartphones, mobile devices like smartphones and PDAs, and other PDAs. A PAN system can be defined as a central infrastructure system and several local networks connected to the central facility. The main functions are to provide access to external electronic devices efficiently and cost-effectively and ensure that all information is kept up to date. It allows easy access to information on the internet, provides better connectivity, and increases user productivity.

A personal area network (PAN) ‘s essential function is allowing information to be transmitted quickly and easily. The communication networks provided by a private area network (PAN) must share data at high speed, so that information is not lost in case of a breakdown or power outage. Another critical function of a personal area network (PAN) is creating secure connections with the internet through private and controlled systems. With the help of an internet protocol address, a unique area network can be configured to establish a secure link between computers and the internet. 

There are many advantages of establishing a secure connection to the internet through a personal area network. If a personal area network fails due to the internet service provider’s malfunction, users can access the internet through other networks. Also, there is no need to carry along a laptop with you to access the internet through a PAN.

GAN- Global area Network

Global area Network
Global area network or GAN is a term that has been commonly used in the networking and telecommunications industry to indicate a collection of computers that are linked to each other over the internet using their respective networks. GAN has initially been a term used within a specific computer technology field, i.e., the computer science industry. Nowadays, this term’s use has expanded widely and has become an important term in information technology. It can be defined as sharing information between two or more computers over an internet network using the internet protocol(IP) network.
This type of Computer network has many uses. It is widely used for communication purposes such as communication with the computers and software systems connected to an IP network and telecommunication with the internet protocol(IP) network to send and receive messages. Also, it is used in the development of software systems and networks for telecommunication as well. It is possible to run multiple GAN systems over one IP network. As per the present scenario, GAN technology is used mainly in large corporations and organizations and is generally used to distribute information between different offices within a single organization. With the advanced technology and applications, the GAN network can connect a small organization or individual to other computers. In a way, it is similar to how LAN can be connected between the computers of a particular company or individual.
There are two types of GAN technologies available today, namely the private GAN and public GAN. The private GAN provides greater security as there is no centralized authority over the whole network and thus is more secure and difficult to hack into. On the other hand, the public GAN provides a broader reach as it can cater to various organizations and businesses in the international market and allows easy distribution of information.
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