Networks are categorized in many different ways. The most common classifications are based on three specific criteria: geographical area, modulation technique, and network topology. These are the classifications examined throughout this book, and are briefly introduced in the following sections.

Networks Defined by Geographic Area

Depending on the geographic area covered, networks typically fall into one of two categories: local area network (LAN) or wide area network (WAN). Local and wide area networks use completely different technologies for interconnection. The data transfer rates also vary significantly between these two categories.

Local Area Networks

Local area networks are usually confined within a building and ...

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