To work in information technology, computer programming, or a related field, you must first understand the different types of computer networks. Learning about networks and why they are helpful can assist you in developing the knowledge required for a successful career in your chosen field. Understanding networks can also help you prepare to monitor, maintain, and adjust them at work.
In this article, we explore the most common network used in companies and list different types.
1. Virtual Private Network (VPN)
VPN is a private network overlay created over an existing public network. IT Companies Network protocols that are used by VPNs to establish encrypted connections between the network and client devices. Instead of using a public network, network traffic is routed through the VPN service’s secure, encrypted tunnels, effectively hiding a user’s IP address and data from ISPs and cybersecurity hackers. The user appears to be located wherever the VPN server is.
It has grown in popularity recently as internet users seek to browse the web without being watched by their ISPs. An ISP can track a user’s web activity, including the sites they visit and the types of content they download. VPNs conceal this information from an ISP while allowing users to access network services.
- Privacy And Anonymity
Users can browse a network without their activity being monitored by their ISP.
VPN users appear to be in the same location as the server, whether in an office building or another country. Users can retrieve company data outside their country’s borders or gain access to geo-blocked content.
- Increased Security
Before they can connect to a VPN, users must first be authenticated. Organizations can secure company data by preventing unauthorized users from accessing sensitive data.
2. Wide Area Network (WAN)
The most extensive type of computer network configuration is a wide area network (WAN). A WAN, like a MAN, is a connection between multiple LANs on the same network. However, unlike MANs, WANs are not constrained by city limits. A WAN can reach any location on the planet. Users in both locations have access to the same data, files, and applications and can communicate with one another.
- Large Area Coverage
Because networks can connect from anywhere worldwide, WANs provide more expansive connectivity.
- Increased Security
Dedicated links also improve network security because the network only connects to itself, making it less likely for hackers to hijack a system.
- Improved Performance
WANs connect LANs by using dedicated bandwidth links. These links improve network speeds and data transfer rates over LANs.
Local Area Network (LAN)
The most common network type is a local area network or LAN. It enables users to connect in a common area within a short distance. Users have access to the same resources once they connect. When you connect your laptop to the internet at home and print a document from a printer on the same network, you are using a LAN.
- Campus Area Network (CAN)
A campus network, also known as a campus area network or CAN, is a collection of interconnected, dispersed LANs. Campus networks, like MANs, extend coverage to nearby buildings. The primary distinction between the two configurations is that campus networks connect LANs within a small geographical area, whereas MANs connect LANs within a larger metropolitan area. A campus network’s geographical range ranges from 1 to 5 kilometers, whereas MANs can extend up to 50 kilometers.
Campus networks are more localized than MANs, making infrastructure upkeep less expensive.
- Wi-Fi Hotspot Creation
Free Wi-Fi hotspots can be set up in busy areas by universities and other organizations with campus networks to simplify network access.
- Easy Configuration
Because there is less hardware to support, campus networks are simpler to set up and maintain than MANs.
4. Enterprise Private Network (EPN)
A private enterprise network, or EPN, is a business built and operated to share company resources at high speeds. EPNs are typically unique to a single company, ensuring the connection’s security. An EPN, for example, could be used by a high-security technology company to reduce the risk of data breaches.
5. Passive Optical Local Area Network (POLAN)
A POLAN is a low-cost network that connects multiple locations to a single central network. POLANs can connect multiple entities to a single information hub. For example, if the headquarters of a school district needs to communicate with each school in the district, it may implement a POLAN.
Your network selection will be influenced not only by the physical size of your office but also by bandwidth, performance, security requirements, and hardware and maintenance costs. Although the various networks sound similar, they are very different in terms of features, benefits, and cost. As a result, selecting the right type of network for your organization is critical in designing a cost-effective computer network that consumes as few resources as possible.