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Konchada Sai Ansul
Konchada Sai Ansul

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Your Home WiFi - LAN, WAN Or PAN?

Nowadays we use WiFi on a daily basis. We use it for online classes, gaming, surfing on the internet, chatting with our friends, etc. But have you ever wondered about the type of network our home WiFi operates on? In this article, I'm going to explore the various types of network and finally deduct the answer to this question.

As discussed, let's have a brief introduction on Computer Networks:


What is Computer Network?

A Computer Network is a combination of networks of the devices linked wirelessly to send or receive the common communication protocols.


Simple enough? Now, let's look into the types of networks.

Types of Networks

There are essentially 5 types of Computer Network:

1. Local Area Network (LAN)


Local Area Network(LAN) is a network which is confined to a limited area to share resources. The devices connected to a server called node which is also known as workstation. Typically, the range of LAN varies from 10 Mbps to 1 Gbps .

Advantages of Local Area Network(LAN):

  1. Sharing of resources such as the internet
  2. Communication is easy, quick and saves time
  3. Data is secure when saved on servers

Disadvantages of Local Area Network(LAN):

  1. Building LAN is expensive
  2. If servers are hit, the data will be leaked and may be corrupted
  3. Area limitation of 1km to 10kms


LAN is one of the most commonly used networks. LAN is used in schools, laboratories, home, offices etc.

2. Wide Area Network (WAN)


Wide Area Network(WAN) is a group of LAN devices which covers a large area for the main purpose of computer networking. The rate of transmission in WAN is about 150 mbps.

Advantages of Wide Area Network(WAN):

  1. Decrease in costs, increase in profits
  2. Improved privacy than LAN
  3. Easy Maintenance of IT infrastructures

Disadvantages of Wide Area Network(WAN):

  1. High setup value to established
  2. Maintaining WAN is costly
  3. WAN has some security issues


WANs are typically used for communication between cities, states and sometimes even countries.

3. Metropolitian Area Network (MAN)


Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) has the characteristics of both LAN & WAN. MAN covers a area of city and shares the resources. Its capacity is much more higher than LAN&WAN. Its range is from 1 Mbps to 10 Mbps .

Advantages of Metropolitan Area Network (MAN):

  1. Higher speed than WAN & has lesser security risks than LAN and also PAN
  2. Sending local mails are faster and secure
  3. It's a faster way to connects 2 LANs

Disadvantages of Metropolitan Area Network (MAN):

  1. Supplementary wires are required to connect 2 LANs
  2. Technical issues with hackers threat
  3. MAN can't work on phones with copper coiled wires, so it gives a very low speed, if high speed is required so there is a need to be installed optic fibers which is expensive


Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) is used in office buildings, university buildings .

4.Personal Area Network (PAN)


Personal Area Network (PAN) is just for a small area for a personal use. This can be wired or wireless, like Bluetooth & Infrared connections. The range is around 1Mbps to 3Mbps.

Advantages of Personal Area Network (PAN):

  1. Connects many devices at a time
  2. Additional cable or wire is not required
  3. The cost to install is affordable

Disadvantages of Personal Area Network (PAN):

  1. Data transfer speed is slow
  2. Restricted to a small area
  3. The infrared connections only travels in a straight line


Personal Area Network (PAN) is used in home devices & supermarket — like printers, mouse, barcode scanners, etc.

5. Campus Area Network (CAN)


Campus Area Network (CAN) connects two or more local area networks within a confined area. As the name suggests its restricted to a area about which covers a whole campus. The commonly used devices are switches, routers and the communication medium are like copper plant, Cat5 network cable & optical-fiber cables & many more.

Advantages of Campus Area Network (CAN):

  1. The ISP is same all across the departments
  2. Transfer rate is fastest & easy than all other types of network
  3. Best in terms of economy & it's wireless too

Disadvantages of Campus Area Network (CAN):

  1. Troubleshooting and maintenance is expensive
  2. Connection of nodes is limited i.e. 64 nodes in distance of 40m because of electrical load


Campus Area Network (CAN) is used in campus including conference centers, technology centers, and training institutes, etc.

So, do you know the answer to my question? Take a moment and choose your answer.

Alright, the answer is LAN also known as WLAN(Wireless Local Area Network). The reason is, as it is used at home with combination of routers and AP(Access Point) to access the internet. Routers are devices which serve 2 main functions:

  1. Create and maintain a local area network
  2. Manage the data entering and leaving the network.


I hope you all got to learn something new today. If you liked this blog and want to support my efforts, do share it with as many friends as possible. And feel free to drop in suggestions for improvements.

Top comments (2)

darkain profile image
Vincent Milum Jr

Great article over all! One thing to note however, all of those bandwidth figures for each of those network types are more than a decade out of date at this point. For instance, 10gbps, 40gbps, and even 100gbps WAN interconnects are now the norm, many MANY orders of magnitude faster than the 5mbps listed in the article.

saiansulsblog profile image
Konchada Sai Ansul

Thank you for your valuable comment. I got to know something new. I'll update the figures accordingly.

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