The Network allows computers to connect and communicate with different computers via any medium. LAN, MAN, and WAN are the three types of the network designed to operate over the area they cover. There are some similarities and dissimilarities between them. One of the major differences is the geographical area they cover, i.e. LAN covers the smallest area; MAN covers an area larger than LAN and WAN comprises the largest of all.
Content: LAN Vs MAN Vs WAN
|BASIS OF COMPARISON||LAN||MAN||WAN|
|Expands to||Local Area Network||Metropolitan Area Network||Wide Area Network|
|Meaning||A network that connects a group of computers in a small geographical area.||It covers relatively large region such as cities, towns.||It spans large locality and connects countries together. Example Internet.|
|Ownership of Network||Private||Private or Public||Private or Public|
|Design and maintenance||Easy||Difficult||Difficult|
|Fault Tolerance||More Tolerant||Less Tolerant||Less Tolerant|
|Used for||College, School, Hospital.||Small towns, City.||Country/Continent.|
Definition of Local Area Network
LAN or Local Area Network links network devices in such a way that personal computer and workstations can share data, tools and programs. Data transmits at a very fast rate as the number of computers linked are limited. LAN’s cover smaller geographical area and are privately owned. One can use it for an office building, home, hospital, schools, etc. LAN is easy to design and maintain.
A Communication medium used for LAN has twisted pair cables and coaxial cables. It covers a short distance, and so the error and noise are minimized.
Definition of Metropolitan Area Network
MAN or Metropolitan area Network covers a larger area than that of a LAN and smaller area as compared to WAN. It connects two or more computers that are apart but resides in the same or different cities. It covers a large geographical area and may serve as an ISP (Internet Service Provider). It’s hard to design and maintain a Metropolitan Area Network.
It is costly and may or may not be owned by a single organization. The data transfer rate of MAN is moderate.
Definition of Wide Area Network
WAN or Wide Area Network is a computer network that extends over a large geographical area. A WAN could be a connection of LAN connecting to other LAN’s via telephone lines and radio waves.
Wide Area Network may or may not be privately owned. A Communication medium used for wide area network is PSTN or Satellite Link. Due to long distance transmission, the noise and error tend to be more in WAN. Propagation delay is one of the biggest problems faced here.
Key Differences Between LAN, MAN and WAN
- The geographical area covered by LAN is small, whereas, MAN covers relatively large and WAN covers the greatest of all.
- LAN is confined to schools, hospitals or buildings, whereas, MAN connects small towns or Cities and on the other hand, WAN covers Country or a group of Countries.
- Devices used for transmission of data are-
LAN: WiFi, Ethernet Cables.
MAN: Modem and Wire/Cable
WAN: Optic wires, Microwaves, Satellites.
- LAN’s transmit data at a faster rate than MAN and WAN.
- Maintenance of LAN is easier than that of MAN and WAN.
- The bandwidth available for transmission is higher in LAN than MAN and WAN.
- Data transmission errors and noise are least in LAN, moderate in MAN and high in WAN.
There are many advantages of LAN over MAN and WAN, such as LAN’s provide excellent reliability, high data transmission rate, they can easily be managed, and shares peripheral devices too. Local Area Network cannot cover cities or towns and for that Metropolitan Area Network is needed, which can connect city or a group of cities together. Further, for connecting Country or a group of Countries one requires Wide Area Network.