What is Network? Difference Between Network and Networking? Explain Types of Networks? How many types of Network Topologies?

Network is the combination of two or more devices (computers, mobiles or laptops) which are connected with one another to share information and data. The most common example of network is THE INTERNET. Network is established by following a certain number of protocols (RULES). To connect to any network everyone has to follow those protocols.

Difference between Network and Networking

Network is defined earlier but networking is the process of connecting the computers.

Types of Network

There are eleven (11) types of networks which listed below:-

1 Local Area Network (LAN)

2 Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)

3 Wide Area Network (WAN)

4 Personal Area Network (PAN)

5 Wireless LAN

6 Compass Area Network (CAN)

7 Storage Area Network (SAN)

8 System Area Network (SAN)

9 Passive Optical Local Area Network (POLAN)

10 Enterprise Private Network (EPN)

11 Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Local Area Network

LAN is the most basic type of network. This network is normally used to connect small voltage devices across small distances. This type of network is used to connect devices within the same building. It is the simplest form of networking.

Metropolitan Area Network

This type of network is bigger than LAN. This type of network is used to communicate on a bigger scale (within a city or a town).

Wide Area Network

This type of network is used to communicate on a very long distance. The internet we all use now-a-days is the best example of WAN. Such network is administrated by multiple public figures and organizations. The network is said to be slightly complicated than LAN. The astonishing part is that WAN network has been spread all around the world yet it’s just a little complicated than LAN.

Personal Area Network

When two mobile hand sets are connected to each other VIA Bluetooth, a PAN is created between them. This is the simplest type of wireless network.

Wireless LAN

This network is just the wireless form of LAN. Wi-Fi is the simplest example of Wireless LAN.

Compass Area Network

As the name of network explains itself; this network is larger than LAN but smaller than MAN. For example these networks are used in the universities e.g. Bahauddin Zikrya University, Multan. To communicate inside the University we will use CAN network.

Storage Area Network

SAN type of networking is used to achieve great speed because the network storage resource is moved away from one network to another. The simplest example of SAN is the removable hard-drive.

System Area Network

This is the type of network which is developed among many servers. Such network is used for faster communications because the servers are supposed to be faster than the clients other than they have to respond to every client’s request; that’s why this network is faster. The network is also known as SAN.

Passive Optical Local Area Network

POLAN is the replacement of our ETHERNET LAN, specifically switching based Ethernet LAN. POLAN technology uses structured cabling. It uses Optical splitting to split an optical signal from one standard single mode optical fiber into multiple signals to serve many devices and users.

Enterprise Private Network

Type of network is usually owned by business owners for their private use. Such networks are used by enterprises to communicate with their different branches all over the country or world.

Virtual private network

VPN works on the basic protocols of EPN. VPN is the extended version of EPN. VPN allows us to connect to any private network in the world without physical connection. Such connection allows us to get information from any network in this world.


Topology means to make arrangement for the users those are connected with one another. There are many topologies / ways in which we can connect our devices; some of them are given below as under:-.

Types of Topologies

1 Ring Topology

2 Bus Topology

3 Star Topology

4 Tree Topology

5 Mesh Topology

6 Hybrid Topology

Ring Topology

The topology in which many end users are connected in such a way that one user connected to every next user; if one user wants to communicate to other or user has to send its query to the other user to communicate with others. It is easy to install but not inexpensive as each user has its own dedicated link & line that is why it is expensive. In ring topology the data is moved in clockwise or anti-clockwise rotation. The topology is found in school campuses or in some office buildings. If one user or link is down the whole system fails and whole thing has topology fails.

Bus Topology

The topology is simple because there is one single back bone of the network and every user is connected to it. If one user has to communicate with the other then it has to send the information through the backbone of the network. When a user is using the shared link then others have supposed to stop for a while sending packets to avoid from any collision of data. If somehow when data collides; it gets destroyed the data and bandwidth will waste. In this topology if one user experiences any problem then it does not affect the network; if backbone/shared link is facing the problem, surely affects the whole network as all the users are connected to it. Bus topology is often confused with computer bus but both are different terms.

Star Topology

In a star topology every user is connected to a hub and if a user has to communicate with another then user has to send the query and information to the hub. Such hub can be a server or the device which is connected to the network. This is very inexpensive among the topologies and easy to add new nodes around the network. In this topology if hub fails then complete network will be down.

Tree Topology

It is the mixture of Bus and Star topology. It contains the advantages of both topologies and covers the disadvantages as well. The simplest form of tree topology is one hub connected to other two hubs and users. It has point- to- point individual wiring segments, on other hand it is very difficult to configure than other topologies.

Mesh Topology

Routers are used in the mesh topology. In this topology the data can be passed through from different paths to reach the destination. Each device is connected to the other device known as full mesh topology.

Hybrid topology

The combination of two or more topologies is known as hybrid topology.

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