Types of Networks

Types of Networks

The network can also be classified on the basis of scale i.e., their size. The size of network characterises its physical capacity or its organisational purpose. Accordingly, user authorisation and access rights and the use of network differ. Thus, networks have been basically divided into three types namely, LAN, WAN, MAN, depending upon their size, but in recent times a few other networks have been included like Bluetooth and RFID.

Thus there are following five types of networks:

  • LAN (Local Area Network)
  • MAN (Metropolitan Area Network)
  • WAN(Wide Area Network)
  • Bluetooth
  • RIFD (Radio Frequency Identification)

Local Area Network

Local Area Network (LAN) is a communication network that interconnects computer within a small geographical area like within a building or small group of buildings. Thus, LAN is a small network of computers attached to each other. It is considered to be the best network for smaller organisations. By virtue of being a small network, the data transfer speed is very high.

An example of a LAN is shown in Figure.

Metropolitan Area Network

Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) is basically bigger version of LAN. It might span a city or a large campus. It is bigger than a LAN but smaller than WAN. The area covered by MAN can be a group of nearby corporate offices spanning over a city. MAN can be either private or public.

A local cable television network is an example of MAN.

Wide Area Network

Wide Area Network (WAN), is a network bigger than MAN, it covers computer communications network that spans cities, countries, and the globe. It uses cables, telephone lines and satellite links for its functioning. WAN is defined by an unlimited geographic area it covers. A WAN can also interconnect multiple LANs.

WAN is more susceptible to errors due to the increased distance as compared to LANs and MANs.

Bluetooth as Wireless Technologies

Bluetooth technology is a wireless communication technology standard that is simple, secure and is prevalent. It is used for exchanging data over short distances. It uses short-wavelength ultra-high frequency radio waves from fixed and mobile devices for data transfer.

In recent time, Bluetooth technology has become so common that it can be found in millions of devices ranging from mobile phones and computers to medical devices and home entertainment products. It is intended to replace the cables connecting devices, while maintaining high levels of security. The key features of Bluetooth technology are low power, and low cost.

The most advantageous feature of Bluetooth technology is that a wide range of devices can connect and communicate with each other irrespective of technology these are based on. The only condition to communicate is that they should be Bluetooth enabled devices.

When two Bluetooth enabled devices connect to each other, it is called pairing. The structure and the global acceptance of Bluetooth technology mean any Bluetooth enabled device, almost everywhere in the world, can connect to other Bluetooth enabled devices located in proximity to one another.

RFID – Radio Frequency Identification

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is an acronym that refers to small electronic devices that consist of a small chip and an antenna. The chip is typically capable of carrying 2,000 bytes of data or less. RFID is a non-contact wireless technology that uses radiofrequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data and is employed for the purpose of automatically identifying and tracking tags attached to objects.

The tags store information electronically. Unlike a barcode, these tags are not necessarily within line of sight of the reader, and may be embedded in the tracked object.

Functionally, a RFID device is similar to a bar code or a magnetic strip on the back of a credit card or ATM card; it provides a unique identifier for that object. And, just as a bar code or magnetic strip, the RFID device must be scanned to retrieve the identifying information.

A significant advantage of RFID devices is that unlike these devices RFID does not need to be positioned precisely relative to its scanner. In contrast, RFID devices can work within a few feet (up to 20 feet for high-frequency devices) of the scanner.

For instance, you could just put all of your groceries or purchases in a bag, and set the bag on the scanner. The scanner would be able to read all of the RFID devices and total the purchase immediately.

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