Home Education What is the Network Definition? (PAN, LAN, CAN, MAN, SAN and WAN)

What is the Network Definition? (PAN, LAN, CAN, MAN, SAN and WAN)


Network definition is the interconnection between two or more devices to share and receive data with each other. Also, we can say that it is a combination of several networking devices like Hub, Switch, Router, etc.

Simply a computer can send data to a printer with the use of a network.

So in this article, we will know the network definition, types of the network, purpose of networking and benefits of networking.


What is the network definition?

  • Network definition is known as the combination of several interconnected devices to share and receives data with the help of some protocols.
  • Different type of networks is there like wireless network and wired network.
  •  Also, the network definition is known as the arrangement of networking devices in such a way that they can communicate with each other.

Types of networking

-Based on the network definition and connectivity, network are of two types: – Wired Network and Wireless Network

Wired networkWireless network
wired network uses physical cables to communicate or to transfer the data to all over the network. In Wireless network we use Sensor devices to share data in a network.
For example, Ethernet cable, optics fibre, etc.For example – Wi-Fi, TV remote, wireless mouse, wireless keyboard, etc.
We can use it only for the LAN. Because cabling cost will be high for WAN which is quite impossible. Data transfer rate depends upon the cable type.We can use it for both LAN and WAN as per the requirements. Here data transfer depends upon the sensors.

-Also depending upon the area, it is of six types: – PAN, LAN, CAN, MAN, SAN and WAN

Personal Area Network (PAN)

  • We use this network at a personal level of communication.
  • It is a small network which is used to connect devices like smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc.
  • We can use a wireless medium to connects these devices like Bluetooth.
  • And also, we can use a wired medium like USB cable to connect these devices.
  • In this network, we generally transfer small files like photos, videos, music, etc.

Local Area Network (LAN)

  • It is designed to establish a network in a small geographical area.
  • For example, office, buildings, institute, organisation, etc.
  • Here one computer will be the server which provides data to other computers of that network.
  • For example, in an office one computer will be server and all the data of that office will be in it. And other computers will access the data on their requirements.

Components of LAN 

I) Work Stations 

  • Work Stations are consists of computers, it may be server computers or client computers.
  • From here we can use computers for our purpose.

II) File Servers

  • These are the remote computers in which all the data or files are stored.
  • At the time of need, other computers of that network can request those files and access it.

III) Gateway

  • It allows a device to communicate with other devices of a network.
  • All the data packets have to pass from this device to enter in any network.

IV) Hub

  • Hub is a centralised device which connects all the devices in a network.
  • It uses Bus topology to send or receive data frames.

V) Communication Channels

  • Simply, these are the medium of data transmission.
  • In LAN we use LAN cable as the medium.


  • High reliability, means the low chance of occurring error in this network.
  • Adding devices is easy in this network.
  • In this network sharing also easy.
  • For example, in a LAN, there is one printer to print. So, all other devices can access the printer by sharing it.

Applications of LAN

  • With the help of a server computer in LAN. We can transfer file and also access it.
  • We can use it as a personal computer.

Campus Area Network (CAN)

  • It is a network which joins two or three LANs together within a limited area.
  • For example, in a college, there are three buildings which are using LAN for their network. 
  • So, CAN connects these three LANs with each other to communicate.

Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)

  • A MAN is known as the bigger version of the LAN. 
  • So, we use LAN for a small area like in office, organisation and MAN for a small city or small town.
  • For example, in a city, there is 12 different LAN and they are sharing their data. So, a combinedly it is known as MAN.

Storage Area Network (SAN)

  • It is a high-speed network which stores and provides access to a large amount of data.
  • Simply it is a dedicated network which is used for data storage.
  • This network consists of multiple disk arrays, switches and servers.
  • SAN in not get affected by network traffic.

Wide Area Network (WAN)

  • To establish communication between two devices which are in long-distance, we can’t use LAN for it.
  • So that we use WAN for this.
  • For example, a company of India have its branches in other countries. So, to communicate with them the company need a Wide Area Network (WAN)
  • In WAN we use radio channels and Satellite links as the medium of communication.

Purpose of networking

As per the network definition, we use the network for sending or receiving data or you can say sharing the data.

  • For example, a user wants to send any data to a different user.
  • So, the first user has to choose a network as the medium.
  •  It may be wired or wireless.
  • Suppose the user choose a local area network (LAN) to send the data. So, with the help of LAN cable, the data can transmit to the receiver.
  • Also, we can send or receive data with a wide area network (WAN), metropolitan area network (MAN), etc.

-Sharing Resources

  • With the help of a network, we can share resources.
  • For example, in a network, there is a printer which is connected with other computers of that network. So, every computer of that network can use the printer commonly.
  • In this way, we can share a single resource with the help of a network.

-Application Sharing

  • Like resource sharing, we can also share applications with the help of a network.
  • Application is of two types like server application and client application.
  • For example, a user sending a request to the Facebook server for the login page with the help of a browser.
  • After that, the Facebook server will provide the requested web page is known as a server application.
  • And the browser which will show the web page to the user is known as the client application.

Benefits of Networking

  • Networking enables data sharing.
  • Networking gives a platform to communicate with any computer or devices of a network.
  • It provides secure data transmission.
  • It allows multiple devices to share a single device like a printer.
  • In networking, we use a server computer to store and share data with other computers.

Also know some networking devices.


What is the difference between the network and the Internet?

The network is the collection of computers to share data with each other in a particular network. The Internet is the collection of a number of networks where one network can communicate with other networks.

What is networking definition?

Network definition is known as the combination of several interconnected devices to share and receives data with the help of some protocols.

What is Ethernet vs Internet?

Ethernet is a Local Area Network(LAN) which is used to establish communication between the devices of a particular network. Internet is the collection of several networks.



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