Local Area Networking

This article gives the characteristics by size and geographical coverage of various types of computer networks, including LAN, WAN, MAN, Enterprise, Internetwork, Intranet, and Extranet.

Part 4: Computer Networks by Size/Geographical Coverage

(McFredries, p.985)

LAN

Local Area Network: a network in which all nodes are connected with network cables and which occupies a relatively small geographical area. For example: a building, office, or department, or a home.

WAN

Wide Area Network: a network consisting of two or more LAN's spread out over a relatively large area. For example: a country or state, or even the world. The networks are sometimes connected using POTs (plain old telephone) technology, but are more likely to use high-speed fiber- optics, microwave dishes, or satellite links.

The CCV's network is a WAN: thirteen sites all connected centrally in Montpelier.

MAN

Metropolitan Area Network: connects computers in a city or county and is usually regulated by a municipal or state commission.j

Enterprise

An enterprise network connects all the computers within an organization, no matter how geographically diverse they might be or what OS's they use or what protocols used in different segments.

Internetwork

An interconnection of two or more LAN's using a bridge or router. The Internet is the Global interconnection of networks.

Intranet

An intranet is analogous to a closed-circuit tv network. It is an implementation of Internet technologies such as TCP/IP and HTTP servers for use within a corporate organization and not for connection with the Internet.

Extranet

An extranet is an intranet with a wider range than one organization - a company and their suppliers, for example.


Bruce Miller, 2002, 2014