15.1 LAN, WAN, OR MAN?

We’re lucky, in a sense, that TCP/IP can be easily transported over a variety of media. In reality, however, the network hardware market is split into a variety of confusing classifications.

Networks that exist within a building or group of buildings are generally referred to as Local Area Networks or LANs. High-speed, low-cost connections prevail. Wide Area Networks—WANs—are networks in which the endpoints are geographically dispersed, perhaps separated by thousands of kilometers. In these networks, high speed usually comes at high cost, but there are virtually no bounds to the sites you can include on the network (Brugge, Belgium to Sitka, Alaska!). MAN is an up-and-coming term for Metropolitan Area Network, ...

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