Computer networks can be classified into three major categories.
Local Area Network (LAN)
a local network remains confined in a relatively small space. It is useful in the provision of services to a small number of people. Networks in small offices and homes are some examples of LAN.
Small office and home networks are peer-to-peer networks, where minimum source is used and each client shares their resources with other workstations in the network.
another network is a client-server network where every customer remains the connection between the server and each other. Servers in client-server networks are of different capacities. There are two types of client-server networks:
- Single-service servers perform some task, say, if a file server; and
- Print server running multiple tasks, say, as a file server, print server, perform calculations and provide information to the customer based on the results of the calculations.
Ethernet cables, wireless networks, or other types of wires, such as power lines or telephone lines can be used to connect computers in a LAN.
Wide Area Network (WAN)
Wide range of resources deployed in WAN. These networks spans not only large domestic area but also internationally. The connectivity of computers in branch offices of a corporate organization is an example of WAN. But the largest WAN on earth Internet, a network of many smaller networks. Besides the Internet, another large WAN PSTN which quickly converges with Internet technologies.
Wireless networks (WLAN, WWAN)
A wireless network is based on the data transmission over sets of radio transceivers. In principle is the same as a LAN or WAN. Only difference is that there are no wires between systems (clients) and servers. These types of networks are useful for locations where wired networks set up either too costly and inconvenient. It makes use of IEEE media access protocols for LANs. For connecting nodes over long distance or satellite communications for various types of cellular radio, or wireless local loop are in fashion. However, the speed and the quality of the data transfer depends largely dependent on the communication used.