In information technology, a network is a series of points or nodes interconnected by communication paths.
Networks can interconnect with other networks and contain subnetworks.
- Local Area Network (LAN)
A local area network (LAN) is a group of computers and associated devices that share a common communications line or wireless link.
Typically, connected devices share the resources of a single processor or server within a small geographic area (for example, within an office building).
Usually, the server has applications and data storage that are shared in common by multiple computer users.
A local area network may serve as few as two or three users (for example, in a home network) or as many as thousands of users (for example, in an FDDI network). See also: WAN and MAN
- Wide Area Network (WAN)
A wide area network (WAN) is a geographically dispersed telecommunications network.
The term distinguishes a broader telecommunication structure from a local area network (LAN).
A wide area network may be privately owned or rented, but the term usually connotes the inclusion of public (shared user) networks.
An intermediate form of network in terms of geography is a metropolitan area network (MAN).
- Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)
A metropolitan area network (MAN) is a network that interconnects users with computer resources in a geographic area or region larger than that covered by even a large local area network (LAN) but smaller than the area covered by a wide area network (WAN).
The term is applied to the interconnection of networks in a city into a single larger network (which may then also offer efficient connection to a wide area network).
It is also used to mean the interconnection of several local area networks by bridging them with backbone lines.
The latter usage is also sometimes referred to as a campus network.
- Network Backbone
A backbone is a larger transmission line that carries data gathered from smaller lines that interconnect with it.
In a network, a node is a connection point, either a redistribution point or an end point for data transmissions.
In general, a node has programmed or engineered capability to recognize and process or forward transmissions to other nodes.
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