Types of Networks

Three primary types of information networks are in use today:

  • Local-area networks (LANs) are found in small geographic areas, such as the floor of an office building.

  • Metropolitan-area networks (MANs) are found in medium-sized geographic areas, such one or several city blocks.

  • Wide-area networks (WANs) are found in large geographic areas, such as expanses that cross a state or country.

Figure 1-10 illustrates the concept of a LAN covering a small geographic area (in this case, the floor of an office building). For these employees to walk between rooms, they must use one or more of the hallways in the building. In this case, the network of hallways provides the connection between each room, enabling each person to move locally ...

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