1 Discuss the standard network models.

Multiple functions like easy communication, sharing of hardware, sharing of data and applications, easy storage and quick retrieval of data are expected from a network. The question in front of businesses these days is not whether to have a network or not but rather which form of network to choose.

Networks are categorized depending on the number of locations that they span. The options available are:

  • LAN's

  • WAN's

  • MAN's

  • PAN's

LAN: The full form of LAN is Local Area Network. This type of network caters to only a single location. It is built up with networking media that is fast, with the limitation that it caters to only a limited geographical area. The figure given below illustrates a LAN.

Figure 1: Local Area Network

WAN: The full form is Wide Area Network. This type of network caters to multiple geographic locations. These are slower and more costly than the local area networks. They work by connecting LAN’s to create an internet work.

Figure 2: Wide Area Network

MAN: The full form of this form of network is Metropolitan Area Network. This form of network caters to a specific geographic area. There are no clear difference between a MAN and a WAN. Every MAN can be considered to be a WAN. To put it in easy words a MAN is smaller than a WAN, and bigger than a LAN.

PAN: The full form of this form of network is Personal Area Network. This form of network is associated with individuals. Wireless technologies are the most common use of PAN and are known as WPAN, that is, Wireless Personal Area Network. The term WPAN refers to technologies connecting devices which are closely placed to exchange data or resources. They use short range wireless technology as the devices are placed in proximity. Infrared and Bluetooth are the examples of the same.