What Is Computer Network? | Types of Computer Network

What Is Computer Network?

Computer Network is a digital method to connect different computers to exchange ideas, share required resources, and communicate with different users. In the current period, the Internet is a perfect example of it which is used across the whole world to perform different operations.

Uses of Computer Network :

Business Applications: Computer Network is used for resource sharing purposes like – Deal for some Products or Goods through E-mail.
It is used for E-Commerce services.

Home Applications: Computer Network is used for Entertainment purposes like – Chatting, Video on Demand, Cable TV Networks, etc. Home Shopping a kind of E-commerce is being accessed over it.

Social Applications: Computer Network helps in exchanging ideas and sharing their point of view through Newsgroups or Bulletin Boards. It is used for sending or receiving valuable documents through emails.

Types of Computer Network :

  • Local Area Network (LAN)
  • Metropolitan Area Networks (MAN)
  • Wide Area Networks (WAN)
  • Personal Area Networks (PAN)
  • Inter-Networks
  • Wireless Networks
  • Home Networks

Local Area Network is generally owned by a single party such as – a Company, a Campus, or a Building which is to be spread not more than a few kilometers.

The way by which users of Local Area Network are connected is known as “Topology”. The most popular Topology uses for LAN is “Star Topology”. In Star Topology users of a LAN are connected to a central unit directly by forming a shape of Star.

  • Every connected user gets their required Bandwidth always. So, the speed difference is not a serious issue on the LAN.
  • A traditional Local Area Network has a speed of 10mbps to 100mbps, but newer LAN can operate on 10GBPS.
  • As a Local Area Network is limited to a single party we can implement strict policy rules. So, in LAN we can provide a specific task for a specific user without interrupting other users.
  • Gateway filtering is possible in LAN so, it is free from malicious traffics and attacks. Gateway level spam filtering is also possible.

Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)

Metropolitan Area Network helps in connecting customers of an entire city under one network. The target behind introducing MAN is to provide enough bandwidth to attract a large number of customers.

  • Cable TV is the most popular example of the Metropolitan Area Network, which connects many users of a city under one network.
  • With the help of the Metropolitan Area Network, customers of a city can connect to each other through mail, messages, audio, or video conferencing.
  • Metropolitan Area Network gives a concept for building a cinema hall and restaurants where customers can gather in large numbers.
  • Metropolitan Area Network is almost not in existence today because WAN is preferred more”.

Wide Area Network (WAN)

A Wide Area Network is a type of Computer Network which used to connect different cities, country or continents under one network. In WAN, a collection of machines are used for running user applications (programs) and these machines are known as “hosts”.

  • The hosts are PCs that are connected to a Subnet or Communication Subnet which is owned by a telephone company or ISP. (Internet Service Provider)
  • When a user is connected to a WAN, he can perform several operations like – downloading, uploading, chatting, etc. with other connected users of WAN.
  • Users can connect to a Wide Area Network to those places only where their respective ISP provides a WAN connection.
  • Users to get connected on Wide Area Network have to pay some rent to their respective ISP and they will provide a WAN connection.
  • In Wide Area Network, there are some serious issues on speed matters because if customers are using high-end devices and the connection is interrupted or outdated from the ISP side, that create connectivity problems.
Computer Network
Computer Network


Inter-Networks is a type of Computer Network which connects different networks to each other in a chain which is also known as today’s “Internet“. A collection of Local Area Networks connected to a Wide Area Network is a form of the Internet.

  • An Internet connection procedure is also the same as WAN by paying some defined rent amount for it.
  • Today many old Wide Area Networks are connected over the Internet with the same user account to provide the right information to the user.

Wireless Networks

By the name “Wireless Networks,” it is obvious that this type of computer network got connected without wires and works at the same level of speed and management i.e occupied by wired networks.

  • Wireless Networks concept was discovered very earlier in 1901, by an Italian physicist Guglielmo Marconi, but at that time this didn’t influence users
  • The first Wireless Network got introduced as the name “ALOHA”, but it also gets failed, and on this concept, Bob Metcalfe, invented “Ethernet”.
  • As passes time and enhancement in technologies Modern Digital Wireless Networks came into the market which influenced users the most.
  • Wireless Networks like 802.11, commonly known as Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity), and 802.16, called Wi-Max (Wireless for Microwave Access) these are used widely in today’s world.
  • Different Smartphones, Laptops, and Desktops have Wi-Fi properties that make Wireless Networks more popular.
  • Bluetooth is an example of a wireless network, it is used for short-range communications and the transferring rate is slow as compared to Wi-Fi and Wi-Max.

Home Networks

Home Networks is introduced to connect different home appliances to a common network (i.e.- Internet) and could be accessed from anywhere. After applying this concept users can control their devices without getting worried.

  1. There are many Home Appliances that can be networked using this concept and can be used efficiently :
  2. Personal Computers, Laptops, PDAs, Smartphones.
  3. Televisions, Sound Boxes, DVDs, Digital Cameras.
  4. Refrigerators, Sound Boxes, Lights, Microwaves, etc.

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