Concept of LAN, MAN & WAN
Local Area Network (LAN)
A Local Area Network (LAN) is a group of computer and peripheral devices which are connected in a limited area such as school, laboratory, home, and office building. It is a widely useful network for sharing resources like files, printers, and other application. The simplest type of LAN network is to connect computers and a printer in someone’s home or office. In general, LAN will be used as one type of transmission medium. It is a network which consists of less than 1000 interconnected devices with in a building.
Characteristics of LAN
- It is a private network, so an outside regulatory body never controls it.
- LAN operates at a relatively higher speed compared to other WAN systems.
- There are various kinds of media access control methods.
Advantages of LAN
- Computer resources like hard-disks, DVD-ROM, and printers can share in Local Area Networks. This significantly reduces the cost of hardware purchases.
- You can use the same software over the network instead of purchasing the licensed software for each client in the network.
- Data of all network users can be stored on a single hard disk of the server computer.
- You can easily transfer data and messages over networked computers.
- It will be easy to manage data at only one place, which makes data more secure.
- Local Area Network offers the facility to share a single internet connection among all the LAN users.
Disadvantages of LAN
- Initial cost of installing Local Area Networks is quite high.
- The LAN admin can check personal data files of every LAN user, so it does not offer good privacy.
- Unauthorized users can access critical data of an organization in case LAN admin is not able to secure centralized data source.
- Local Area Network requires a constant LAN administration as there are issues related to software setup and hardware failures.
A metropolitan area network (MAN): –
A metropolitan area network (MAN) is a computer network that is larger than a single building local area network (LAN) but is located in a single geographic area that is smaller than a wide area network (WAN). A Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) is a type of computer network that extents a larger geographic area than a Local Area Network (LAN) but is smaller than a Wide Area Network (WAN). MANs are typically used to connect multiple LANs within a city or a metropolitan region, providing communication and data transfer capabilities for organizations and institutions over a larger area.
Advantages of a MAN:
- High Bandwidth: MANs often use fiber-optic cables or other high-speed technologies, allowing for fast and efficient data transmission over large distances. This enables smooth communication and data sharing between connected LANs.
- Coverage: A MAN can cover a significant geographic area, making it suitable for connecting multiple offices, campuses, or buildings within a city or a metropolitan region. It provides an applied solution for organizations with distributed locations.
- Cost-Effective: Compared to WANs, which require extensive infrastructure and higher costs, MANs can be more cost-effective to implement and continue, especially when dealing with a medium-sized area.
- Improved Connectivity: MANs enable improved connectivity and collaboration among organizations and institutions within the same metropolitan region. This can lead to better resource sharing, enhanced productivity, and effective access to centralized services.
Disadvantages of a MAN:
- Limited Geographic Scope: While MANs cover more significant areas than LANs, they are still restricted to a specific geographic region. This limitation can be a drawback for organizations with locations spread across multiple cities or countries, necessitating the use of more wide WAN solutions.
- Single Point of Failure: A MAN’s effectiveness depends on its fundamental infrastructure, and if there’s a failure in a critical component or link, it can lead to interruption and disruptions in communication between connected LANs.
- Maintenance Complexity: As the geographic area covered by a MAN increases, so does the complexity of its maintenance and troubleshooting. Identifying and resolving issues across a large area can be time-consuming.
- Security Concerns: Growing the network’s reach across a metropolitan area can announce security challenges, as it becomes more challenging to control access and protect data over such a large geographical region.
- Dependence on Service Providers: Many MAN operations rely on telecommunications and ISPs service providers for network infrastructure and connectivity. This dependence can lead to possible service outages and delays in case of service provider issues.
A Wide Area Network (WAN)
A Wide Area Network (WAN) is a type of computer network that covers a large geographical area, linking multiple LANs and MANs across cities, states, countries, or even continents. WANs are designed to facilitate communication and data transfer over long distances. WANs offer wide coverage and enable effective communication and resource sharing across geographically spread locations.
Advantage of WAN:
- Geographical Coverage: WANs can cover huge distances, making them perfect for connecting geographically spread locations, such as branch offices, remote sites, or global offices.
- Resource Sharing: WANs allow organizations to share resources, data, and services efficiently across different locations. Centralized servers and databases can be accessed by users in various branches or locations.
- Improved Communication: With WANs, businesses can employ various communication tools, such as video conferencing, VoIP, and instant messaging etc. We can also use social media, email, various massaging as well calling apps to communicate with each other.
- Data Recovery: WANs allow organizations to implement healthy data recovery strategies. Data replication and backup can be performed across multiple sites, ensuring data redundancy and minimizing the risk of data loss.
Disadvantages of a WAN:
- Cost: Implementing and maintaining a WAN can be expensive, especially when working in large geographic areas. The costs include setting up communication lines, hardware, software, and continuing maintenance.
- Complexity: WANs are more complex than LANs or MANs due to their wide spread and the involvement of multiple technologies and service providers. This complexity can lead to more challenging troubleshooting and longer downtime in case of any issues.
- Security Risks: WANs are weak to security openings and unauthorized access, especially when traversing public networks like the internet. Encryption, firewalls, and other security measures are essential to protect data in transit.