What is the difference between LAN, WAN, and MAN. I know they sound a bit stupid, but these are the three different types of networks that you can have. When these connections become wireless they are renamed WLAN, WWAN, and WMAN. When you venture into wireless networks you will need to make sure you have wireless network security covered.
Define LAN, WAN, and MAN
LAN: (local area network as listed in our computer terms page) A group of computers that share a common connection and are usually in a small area or even in the same building. For example an office or home network. They are usually connected by Ethernet cables and have high speed connections. If it was a wireless setup it would be called a WLAN, which would have a lower connection speed. You can also see a detailed article on What is a Local Area Network?
MAN: (metropolitan area network) This is a larger network that connects computer users in a particular geographic area or region. For example a large university may have a network so large that it may be classified as a MAN. The MAN network usually exist to provide connectivity to local ISPs, cable tv, or large corporations. It is far larger than a LAN and smaller than a WAN. Also large cities like London and Sydney, Australia have metropolitan area networks.
WAN: (wide area network) This is the largest network and can interconnect networks throughout the world and is not restricted to a geographical location. The Internet is an example of a worldwide public WAN. Most WANs exist to connect LANs that are not in the same geographical area. This technology is high speed and very expensive to setup.
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I hope these definitions helped as I have tried to explain LAN, WAN, and MAN in non technical terms.
Notes on the difference between LAN, WAN, and MAN:
- Wireless LAN is WLAN. At the moment a wired connection is still always high speed as we have shown in this article on how to setup gigabyte ehthernet. Even though having a Wireless LAN is less mess with no cables, it compromises on speed.
- With new networks popping up all the time like 3G, GSM, and GPRS, the actual end user gets to connect directly to a WMAN which was unheard of. Most of these networks are mobile data standards that previously or still are used on cell phones.
I am not sure if LAN,WAN, and MAN will exsist for much longer.