By: Leo D'Adderio
Date Submitted: 2010-06-07
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.
LAN: (local area network) 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.
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 worldand 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.