Not all networks are the same. Network infrastructures can very in terms of size of the area, number of devices connected, what kind of services are available, and the area is covers.
The Two Common Types of Network Infrastructures!
There are two types of network that are used in modern day network infrastructures.
- Local Area Network (LAN)- This type of network is designed to provide access to a small area, typically an enterprise, school, home or small business.
- Wide Area Network (WAN)- This type of network provides access to other networks over a large area, typically operated by ISP providers.
Other Types of Networks Include:
- Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)- This type of network is larger than a LAN but smaller than a WAN. MANs are used by large companies.
- Wireless LAN (WLAN)- This type of network is similar to a LAN but it uses wavelengths to connect users.
- Storage Area Network (SAN)- This type of network is designed to data storage, and replication.
What is the Internet?
The internet is a not owned by any individual or organization, instead the internet is a cluster of interconnected networks worldwide. However, because networks need to be compatible with one another there are organizations that set standards.
- Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
- Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)
- The Internet Architecture Board (IAB)
Internets and Extranets
There are two other types of networks that are similar to the internet:
- Internets- Is a private network that consists of LANs and WANs that are part of a organisation. Only employees that are part of the organization have access to this type of network.
- Extranets- Is a private network that provides secure access to other organizations. Example: Suppliers, Customers, Collaborators.