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Computer Network – Types, Local Area, and More

Computer Network

Computer network are collections of connected computers that may communicate and share resources.

These networked devices transmit information via wired or wireless methods using a set of guidelines known as communications protocols.


We live in a connected world. Information is produced, exchanged, and tracked in real-time.

It is possible since almost everyone and everything in the digital world is interconnected in one way or another.

A group of two or more like things or interconnected people is called a network. Some examples of networks in our daily lives include:

  • Social network
  • Mobile Network
  • Computer network

Airlines, railways, banks, hospital networks


Various types of computer networks reach, from the network of portable devices (such as mobile phones or tablets) connected via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth within a single room to millions of computers spread around the world.

Some are connected wirelessly, while others are connected through cables. Based on the geographic area covered and data transfer rate, computer networks are broadly classified as:

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

Personal Area Network (PAN)

  • It is a network formed by connecting personal devices such as computers, laptops, mobile phones, smartphones, printers, etc.

Local Area Network (LAN)

  • It is a network that attaches computers, mobile phones, tablets, mice, printers, etc., placed at a limited distance.
  • The geographic area covered by a LAN can vary from a single room, floor, or office with one or more buildings on the same premises, laboratory, school, college, or university campus.

Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)

  • Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) is an extended form of LAN that covers a larger geographic area, such as a city or town.
  • The data transfer rate in MAN also varies in Mbps, but it is considerably lower comparing to LAN.

Wide Area Network (WAN)

  • A vast area network connects computers and other LANs and MANs distributed in different geographical locations in a country, in different countries, or continents.


  • In the 1960s, the US Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) commissioned a project to connect academic and research institutions in different locations for scientific collaborations.
  • The first message was communicating between the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the Stanford Research Institute (SRI).
  • Slowly but gradually, more and more organizations joining the ARPANET, and many smaller independent networks were forming.
  • Some of the milestones in the magnificent journey of the evolution of computer networks are representing in the timeline.


The Internet is the global network of computing devices that includes desktop computers, laptops, servers, tablets, mobile phones, other portable devices, printers, scanners, routers, switches, gateways, etc.

  • Also, intelligent electronic devices like TV, air conditioner, refrigerator, fan, lights, etc., can communicate over a network.
  • The list of such intelligent devices is constantly increasing, for example, drones, vehicles, door locks, and security cameras.

Also Read: Computer Storage – Storage Function, Types, and More

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