Types of Networks: LAN vs MAN vs WAN vs CAN vs PAN vs SAN

Networks are basically classified by their reach, or the area they cover geographically. If you are an internet user, you might have heard about a few Types of Networks. The most common terms are LAN and WAN. However, there are Types of Networks like MAN, CAN, PAN, and SAN, which we will be discussing in this article.

What is a Network?

First, let’s understand what is a Network? To explain in simple words, a network is simply a group of devices connected with each other for sharing data, information, and resources. 

Different Types of Networks:

PAN: Personal Area Network:

It is a small network used to connect devices at short range such as smartphones, laptops, etc. Examples of PAN are Bluetooth, Infrared, NFC, etc. PAN can also be a wired connection, like a USB cable. It is mostly used to transfer smaller size files.

LAN: What is LAN?

LAN Stands for Local Area Network. Among all types of Networks, LAN is the most used one. It is used to connect a group of devices in the same building, such as computers, printers, servers, etc. LAN is mostly used in small offices and at home.

When we connect multiple computers using an ethernet cable, it is called ELAN (Ethernet LAN). Similarly, when we connect multiple computers through a wireless network, it is called WLAN. You might need a WiFi Router and Wireless devices like Laptops and Smartphones to use WLAN.

Local Area Network is also used to play multiplayer games in the same building or share files in offices.

Do you know what is the difference between Modem and Router? Check this article.

What is LAN

CAN: Campus Area Network:

While LAN is used to connect multiple devices in a given area, CAN is a network that connects two or more LANs in a short area. As the name suggests, the CAN is usually used in universities and colleges where there are multiple buildings inside a campus. 

MAN: Metropolitan Area Network:

The Metropolitan Area Network is used in larger areas like cities and towns to connect several devices through a high-speed connection by using fiber optic cables.


SAN stands for Storage Area Network. It is a dedicated network used by companies for data storage. Storage Area Network consists of several servers, switches, and disk arrays, which are used to store large amounts of data.

Ethernet Cable

WAN (Wide Area Network):

It is the largest Type of Network. WAN is spanned over large geographical areas like countries and continents. The Internet is an example of a Wide Area Network. 

Conclusion on Types of Networks:

It is necessary to understand all types of networks so that you can use them wherever necessary. LAN is the most common type of Network as it is widely used in offices, computer labs, and even while playing multiplayer games. Let us know which of these networks have you utilized by leaving a comment below.

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