You Have Two Computers Connected By An Ethernet Hub At Home. Is This A LAN, A MAN, Or A WAN?


2 Answers

Samuel Chiltern Profile
Samuel Chiltern answered
The network you are describing only connects two local devices using a Level 1 device (Ethernet hub).

A Level 1 device is the simplest type of networking equipment, providing only the most basic networking connectivity - a physical connection without any traffic management or routing.

The network you describe would therefore be defined as a Local Area Network (LAN).

Other Types of Computer Network
If you were to add a router to the network, which in turn was connected to a cable broadband provider, then the network you were connecting to would be termed a Metropolitan Area Network (MAN).

This is because it contains Level 3 devices (routers), which direct traffic between distinct, segregated networks, but still only encompasses a relatively-small geographical area.

The MAN that you have just connected to might in turn connect up with other MANs or servers, most likely owned by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). This would be classified as a Wide Area Network (WAN), and would ultimately extend to encompass the entire public Internet.

The Internet itself is nothing more than a series of smaller networks joined together. The full-form of Internet is 'Internetwork', which encapsulates this concept perfectly.

The Use of Ethernet in Networking
Don't get too distracted by the particular network medium being used. Ethernet cable has a maximum segment length of 100 metres, making it a cheap and reliable conduit for both LANs and MANs.

Improvements in Ethernet technology in recent years have brought it up to a maximum bandwidth of 1000Mb, which is more than adequate for connecting lots of devices which are relatively-close by, and are unlikely to require heavy throughput.
Lilanga Gamage Profile
Lilanga Gamage answered
This type of small size network is a LAN. All small-sized office networks and in-house networks are LANs.

A MAN is owned by single company - it's an averagely large network. Level 2 networking devices are present (e.g switches) and it may also contain Level 3 devices (e.g routers).

A WAN interconnects several sub-networks together. It's a large network. Usually Network resources are owned by several companies. A WAN uses Level 3 networking devices and extends to large geographic areas.

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