Computer Networking notes

What is Networking? 

Computer network, two or more computers are connected with one another for the purpose of communicating data electronically. Besides physically connecting computer and communication devices, a network system serves the important function of establishing a cohesive architecture that allows a variety of equipment types to transfer information in a near-seamless fashion.

Forms of Network

  • Wired
  • Wireless

Types of Networking

  • PAN (Personal Area Network)
  • LAN (Local Area Network)
  • MAN (Metropolitan Area Network)
  • WAN (Wide Area Network)

PAN (Personal Area Network)

PAN is a computer network formed around a person. It generally consists of a computer, mobile, or personal digital assistant. PAN can be used for establishing communication among these personal devices for connecting to a digital network and the internet.

PAN networks are relatively secure and safe.

PAN carried over a low-powered, short-distance wireless network technology.


Wired personal area networks provide short connections between peripherals. Example technologies include USB, IEEE-1394 and Thunderbolt.


A wireless personal area network (WPAN) is a personal area network in which the connections are wireless. IEEE 802.15 has produced standards for several types of PANs operating in the ISM band including Bluetooth. The Infrared Data Association (IrDA) has produced standards for WPANs that operate using infrared communications.


Bluetooth uses short-range radio waves. Uses in a WPAN include, for example, Bluetooth devices such as keyboards, pointing devices, audio headsets, and printers may connect to smartwatches, cell phones, or computers.

IrDA IrDA uses infrared light.

LAN (Local Area Network)

A local area network (LAN) is a computer network that interconnects computers within a limited area such as a residence, school, laboratory, university campus or office building.

Ethernet and Wi-Fi are the two most common technologies in use for local area networks.

Ethernet Cable

Wireless media

Wireless LANs use Wi-Fi as it is built into smartphones, tablet computers and laptops. Guests are often offered Internet access via a hotspot service.

MAN (Metropolitan Area Network)

It covers the largest area than LAN such as small towns, cities, etc. MAN connects two or more computers that reside within the same or completely different cities. MAN is expensive and should or might not be owned by one organization.

WAN (Wide Area Network)

WAN stands for wide area network. It covers a large area than LAN as well as a MAN such as country/continent etc. WAN is expensive and should or might not be owned by one organization. PSTN or satellite medium is used for wide area networks.

Comparison between LAN, MAN, WAN

Expands toLocal Area NetworkMetropolitan Area NetworkWide Area Network
MeaningA network that connects a group of computers in a small geographical area.It covers relatively large region such as cities, towns.It spans large locality and connects countries together. Example Internet.
Ownership of NetworkPrivatePrivate or PublicPrivate or Public
Design and maintenanceEasyDifficultDifficult
Propagation DelayShortModerateLong
Fault ToleranceMore TolerantLess TolerantLess Tolerant
Used forCollege, School, Hospital.Small towns, City.Country/Continent.
AllowsSingle pair of devices to communicate.Multiple computers can simultaneously interact.A huge group of computers communicate at the same time.
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