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Types of Computer Networks

Khushnuma Irani Dec 17, 2018
LAN, WAN, and MAN ... they all sound like jargon, which is what they are. These are different types of computer networks and something each one of us should be aware of.
Network is a means of communication between computers.
Within a given network, computers can send files, emails, etc. to each other. Even things like instant messaging can be done. These days we take these basic things for granted, but intense designing effort has been put in it.



LAN or Local Area Network is the most common kind of set up. There are two ways to connect a LAN. The simplest and easiest way is the peer-to-peer connection.
This is when two or more PCs are directly connected to each other. For example, if there were four machines in the network, PC1 would be connected to PC2, PC2 would be connected to PC3, and PC3 would be connected to PC4. This means each PC is dependent on the other. And if there were a problem with any one, all of them would be affected.
The other type is the client server connection. This is the type of connection where all the machines are connected to one central machine. This is more complicated, but one that is much more efficient than the peer-to-peer type.


WAN or Wide Area Network is when several LANs or independent machines are connected to a single, wider network. The Internet is the perfect example of WAN. Emails, Chat Rooms, and Ims, all connect to the WAN of the Internet. WAN is much more complex and requires connecting devices or hubs from all over the world.


Metropolitan Area Network is the one in which two or more communicating devices are geographically separated, but are in the same metropolitan city and are connected to each other. It is meant for a larger area than LAN, but a much smaller area compared to WAN.
Some of the technologies, which use MAN include FDDI (Fiber Distributed Data Interface), SMDS (Switched Multi-megabit Data Service), ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode), etc. They are usually characterized by very high speed connections.

Networking Design Tips

Networks and their servers need to be designed according to the requirement of the organization. Here are some tips to do the same.

Server Processor

The processor is a very important component. It is what processes all the activities of the connection. Pentium Processors are superior processors to be used in designing.

Hard Disk

Hard disks are where all the data is stored permanently. While selecting a hard disk, consider the Smart Monitoring and Reporting Technology, as this is what will be monitoring the hard drives. Provide a hot swap disk drive that can replace the faulty hard disk.


This is an environment created when two or more servers operate as a single server. This is so as to encourage performance, reliability, and load balancing.

Memory Performance

While you are selecting the memory, consider Error Correcting Code technology, this fixes and repairs errors of single and multi bit varieties.

Power Supply

There is a need for multi-power supply while designing. This is done so that in the case of failure of one source of power supply, there is always another available.


There is a need for UPS or Uninterrupted power supply, so as to balance any sudden jerks in electricity that can cause damage to the server.

Cooling Fans

Every server needs a cooling system, and this is what the cooling fans do inside the server.

Monitoring Hardware

This is a designed adapter that monitors the performance of the various parts of the hardware.

Monitoring Software

There are thousands of monitoring software available in the market to monitor the performance of the server and the other machines within the connection.

Data Server Location

The server needs to be placed in an environment that is dust-free, has a capacity for cooling, and is clean. And this location should be accessible to authorized personnel.
Knowing all this will certainly help you while working with a group of computers. Also, a career in this field is one of the most desired. Whether for a career or not, this information will certainly be helpful.