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Computer Networks In A Nutshell | TE-A-CH

What is a computer network?

Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

A computer network is an amalgamation of various technical (electronic) systems (usually computers), which enables the individual systems to communicate with one another.

Communication takes place via various protocols that can be structured with the ISO / OSI reference model.

The Internet, for example, is a worldwide network of computer networks.

Types of networks

(On the basis of geographic extent)

Networks are assigned to certain network types depending on their size, range and speed.

The physical communication or data transmission can be implemented with all types, both wired and wireless.

Over time, the following classifications of network types have become established (sorted by range):

1. PAN — Personal Area Network

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The Personal Area Network extends over a very short distance.

It is mainly used to connect devices such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, etc. to each other.

For example, data can be transferred via USB cable, Bluetooth or NFC.

2. LAN — Local Area Network

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

A local area network is a grouping of several devices such as computers, printers, switches, etc., which are usually connected to one another in a building or room.

To enable communication between the devices, they are often connected to one another with ethernet cables and a switch.

3. MAN — Metropolitan Area Network

Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash

The Metropolitan Area Network can be seen as a connection between individual LANs in geographical proximity.

This network architecture is often used at universities or distributed company headquarters.

4. WAN — Wide Area Network

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

The wide area network extends over great geographical distances by connecting individual local networks.

This can even extend across entire countries and continents.

Due to the large number of network devices and transmission paths such as copper cables, fiber optic cables and radio links in WANs, administration is complex and connections are expensive to implement.

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