PANs, LANs, and WANs, Oh My!

PANs, LANs, and WANs, Oh My!

PANs, LANs and WANs, Oh My! This is Dr. Schuessler again and I wanted to take a little bit of time just to talk about some of
the differences between some of the different types of networks. Networks can be described in a lot different ways. One of the ways is the geographic scope of the
network and there are more more descriptions to different types of
networks than just these three here. And we are going to talk about a few of those in the next
few slides so very first one we’re going talk about our PANs, Personal Area Networks. Basically what we’re going to do is talk about some of these different networks in terms of geographic scope from smallest to largest so with that in mind Personal
Area Networks represent the smallest type of network so you can see that
they’re very small networks usually stretching no further than around thirty
feet or 10 meters. A lot of times these are implemented using a Bluetooth
network they don’t have to be. There are other types of Personal Area Networks
but typically like I said piconets or or Bluetooth networks are really
designed to replace a lot of the cables, making things a little easier to connect
things, things like that. It allows you to have a nice home network of
interconnected devices all within one small usually an office kind of area. This is what an example
might look like. So here on our left we’ve got a router, switch, firewall, and
wireless access point. In that office we might have a computer that is connected, we might have a laptop that is wirelessly connected. We might have a printer that is connected to our desktop so these are all located on a desk or a couple of desks within a room. This is probably best referred to as a Personal Area Network. Now Local Area Network or LAN is probably something that you have heard much more frequently. Its larger in scope. It’s not
huge but it’s it’s larger in scope than a personal area network might be. Some of the common connectivity devices you might see in a local area network, with things like switches and routers the
network interface cards that are built into the computers themselves and some
of the common mediums you might see include are unshielded twisted pair and shielded twisted pair or
cable or fiber optic or even Wireless. Physical topologies includes star, ring,
or hybrid topologies and we will talk about some of those in a different video. Then the logical
topologies are usually gonna be a bus topology pretty much just because Ethernet has kind of become the defacto standard in the LAN environment. A common example of a Local Area Network are what you might see at your own house if you have multiple computers in different rooms that are all connected
together or in an office building you might see multiple rooms potentially even multiple floors of a building that all have different computers that are all connected together. That’s kind
of an example of what a Local Area Network might look like so in this case
again we have a router and firewall there in our top left next to a switch
which also has a wireless access point connected to it. And then we might have multiple office computers that are connected to that wireless access point and multiple
stationery office computers that are connected to the switch. Now a Campus
Area Network and a Metropolitan Area Network, CANs and MANs, are larger in
scope still so these are a group of connected local area networks. So we may have multiple Local Area Networks so think about the campus
that we have here at Tarleton State University. We’ve got multiple buildings all
over campus that have computers all over in various rooms or various facilities
throughout the University. It is not a single large network, rather it’s a
collection of small Local Area Networks together that all come together to form
a Campus Area Network. Still a little bit larger in scope, a Metropolitan Area
Network is the same concept it’s just spread across a city or
multiple cities in some cases. They can be owned by an individual, a Campus Area Network or Metropolitan Area Network can be on by an individual but more likely
they’re gonna be owned by a fairly large organization or a governmental entity. So
he’s kind of an example I threw together. We might have multiple wireless access
points all across town that allow you to connect to campus or a metropolitan area network. Still larger is a Wide Area Network, a WAN. It’s not necessarily
bound by political boundaries so whereas we might have a Metropolitan Area
Network that goes to the city limits or stays within the city proper, a Wide Area Network may span across political borders. The example
there that we have the bottom of our screen is obviously the Internet. It’s a
huge huge huge network. Its a collection of networks, Local Area Networks all around
the world so it’s not bound by political boundaries or by a single governing body. WANs are often use different transmission media
and methods. Satellite and microwave relay for example and WAN environments are
rarely owned by a single organization. It tends to be because of the scope and size, it’s very difficult for a single organization to be able to own a WAN. That’s not to say it can’t happen but it’s just not the norm. So here’s kind of an
example of what at WAN might look like for an organization. You may have an office that is located in Dallas, in San Francisco, and Seattle and in New York and you
might need some kind of connectivity between those two different places. As an individual corporation, if they had offices in these different places, they
might link them all together by leasing lines from some kind of a carrier such
as AT&T for example. They lease those lines and it allows them to connect their
different offices together. So, in this video we talked about Personal
Area Networks and Local Area Networks, Campus Area Networks and Metropolitan
Area Networks all the way up to Wide Area Networks. So we’re talking about these in terms of smallest to largest. So we’re talking about the geographic scope, to kind of differentiate these different types of networks hopefully that clears up some of the
differences between LANs and WANs and all those kinds of things. If you have
any questions, let me know send me a message. Follow me on Twitter at @SchuesslerPhd. Until next time, take care!

Danny Hutson

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