There are various types of networks which are majorly classified as LAN, MAN and WAN on the basis of their size. 

  • LAN stands for Local Area Network.
  • MAN stands for Metropolitan Area Network.
  • WAN stands for Wide Area Network. 


You must have heard of these types of networks before – LANs are the most frequently discussed networks, one of the most common, one of the most original and one of the simplest types of networks. LANs connect groups of computers and low-voltage devices together across short distances (within a building or between a group of two or three buildings in close proximity to each other) to share information and resources. Enterprises typically manage and maintain LANs.  Using routers, LANs can connect to wide area networks to rapidly and safely transfer data. LAN is secure because there is no outside connection with the local area network thus the data which is shared is safe on the local area network and can’t be accessed outside. LAN due to their small size are considerably faster, their speed can range anywhere from 100 to 1000 meters. LANs are not limited to wire connection, there is a new evolution to the LANs that allows local area network to work on a wireless connection. Mostly private ownership has control over the local area network rather than the public. Some of the most common LAN protocols are Ethernet, Token Ring and Fibber Distributed Data Interface, or FDDI, while most of the wireless protocols in use today are 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11n.


  • Resource Sharing
  • Software Sharing
  • Software Sharing
  • Centralized Data
  • Improved Security
  • Internet Sharing
  • Computer Identification


  • Implementation Cost
  • Policy Violations
  • Security
  • Maintenance
  • Area Coverage
  • Server Crashes
  • Malware Spreading


These types of networks are larger than LANs but smaller than WANs – and incorporate elements from both types of networks. MANs span an entire geographic area (typically a town or city, but sometimes a campus). Ownership and maintenance is handled by either a single person or company (a local council, a large company, etc.). MAN is expensive and should or might not be owned by one organization. MAN mostly covers a range of 5060 km. MANs are high-speed connection networks that interconnect several local area networks into a single large network with a common bridge. That bridge is called backbone lines which usually established by optical fibber to boost data transfer speed. Simply put, the MAN can be considered as a group of one or more LAN networks connected together through a single cable. RS-232, X-25, Frame Relay, and ATM are the common protocol practice for communication in MAN. 


  • Inexpensive 
  • Sending Local Emails
  • High Speed than WAN
  • Sharing of the Internet
  • Conversion of LAN to MAN is Easy
  • High Security


  • Difficult To Manage
  • Internet Speed Difference
  • Hackers Attack
  • Technical Staff Requires to Set up
  • Need More wires


WAN (Wide Area Network) is a computer network  that covers a large-scale geographical area with the diameter of roughly 100-1000 km, that is, any network whose communications link cross metropolitan, regional, or national boundaries. It covers a larger area than LAN as well as a MAN. WAN is expensive and should or might not be owned by one organization. WAN may or may not be privately owned. Devices involved are more diversified than those applied to the other types, ranging from routers to switches, firewalls modems and so on. Companies such as FS or other worldwide organizations utilize WAN connection between their various branches by communicating via microwave satellites. PSTN or satellite medium is used for wide area networks. Due to longdistance transmission, the noise and error tend to be more in WAN. Propagation delay is one of the biggest problem faced here. Some of the most common WAN protocols in use today are Frame Relay, X-25, Integrated Services Digital Network, or ISDN, and Point-to-Point Protocol, or PPP.


  • Covers large geographical area
  • Centralized data
  • Get updated files and data
  • A lot of application to exchange messages
  • Global business
  • High bandwidth
  • Distribute workload and decrease travel charges


  • Security problems
  • Needs firewall and antivirus software
  • The setup cost is high
  • Troubleshooting problems
  • Server down and disconnection issue

Diagrammatic view of LAN, MAN and WAN all together: