What are Networks?Follow article
All worlds are talking about networks and their importance, security and reliability.
Surfing on the internet, email communications, smartphones, small wireless devices like printers, home robots are only some of the examples. The same applies to devices spread across long distances or even the world – they only have different requirements on networks, their purpose and size.
In general, there are various kinds of Area Network and Private Networks. “A private network is a computer network that uses private IP address space. These addresses are commonly used for local area networks (LANs) in residential, office, and enterprise environments” (Wikipedia).
A basic type of network, set for a small office or household with one wireless modem and managed from one computer is called Personal Area Networks (PAN). By using a physical cable to connect more computers or devices we talk about Local Area Network (LAN), the most common and traditional kind of network working for short distances. Used for the same type of applications but without a cable, using a wireless network technology (Wi-Fi) instead is WLANs –Wireless Local Area Networks are very common.
Larger areas like towns or groups consisting of more buildings that are connected to share resources mostly by LAN cable and owned and managed by one owner or one company are called Campus Area Networks (CAN) or –bigger- Metropolitan Area Network (MAN).
For very long distances Wide Area Networks (WANs) are reliable to transfer data by connecting LANs to routers. The best example of WAN is the Internet. It is typically owned and maintained by multiple administrators or the public.
Businesses often create private networks Enterprise Private Networks (EPN) to securely connect locations and share their resources. Connecting these EPNs to the internet allows the users to access data remotely like they were connected directly. We talk about Virtual Private Network (VPN).
Maintaining networks require secure, solid and sustainable handling of data, but with high-speed. The following types of networks support the process by moving storage away from the network to their own high-performance networks instead – Storage Area Networks (SANs) and the System Area Networks (SANs as well) that focus on high-speed connections from server-to-server or to storage area networks or processor-to-processor applications.
Alternative technology to transfer data other than by Ethernet LANs is by splitting the optical signal from one optical fibre to multiple signals that helps to overcome traditional Ethernet protocols. Passive Optical Local Area Networks (POLAN) is used as part of structured cabling. Discover more about Passive Optical Networks and passive optical LANs here.