Categories of Networks

Another alternating criterion for classifying N/w’s is their scale

i.e, the classification of multiple processor systems by their physical size.

Personal Area Network (PAN):-

PAN – is meant for one person. A wireless N/w connecting a computer with it’s mouse, keyboard and printer is a PAN also a PDA that controls the user’s hearing aid.

The next category is longer-range N/w’s  that is LAN, WAN, MAN -finally Inter network.

Those are categorized based on physical size, owner ship, the distance it covers and it’s physical architecture.

Local Area Network (LAN):-

  • LANs which are generally called as LANs are privately owned Networks within a single building (or) campus.
  • These are up to a few Km in size (10 m to 1 Km).
  • These are used to connect Personal computers (or) work stations in company office (or) factories to share resources (ex: Printers) and exchange information.
  • LANs are distinguished from other kinds of Networks by ‘3’ characteristics

i. their size.    ii. Transmission technology.      iii. topology.

  • LANs size is restricted that is worst case transmission time is bounded and is well known before in hand makes it possible to use certain kinds of designs that would not otherwise be possible. which also simplifies N/w management.
  • LANs may use a transmission technology consisting of a cable to which all the machines are attached.

Ex:-Telephone lines in rural areas.

  • LANs (traditional) may run at speeds of 10 Mbps to 100 Mbps and newer ones up to 10 Gbps.

(1 Mbps  \rightarrow  1000000 bits per second), (1 Gbps  \rightarrow  1000000000 bits per second).

  • The general possible topologies for LANs are bus, ring and star.

Bus Topology:-

In the Bus N/w (linear) at any instant at most one machine is the master and is allowed to transmit all other are required to refrain from sending.

An arbitration mechanism is needed to resolve conflicts when ‘2’ (or) more machines want to transmit simultaneously.

The arbitration mechanism may be centralized (or) de-centralized.

ex:- IEEE 802.3 ETHERNET a Bus based broad cast N/w is operating at 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps.

In Ethernet computers can transmit whenever they want to , if ‘2’ (or) more packets collide each computer just waits a random time and tries again later.

Ring topology:-

a second type broad casting system is the ring. In a ring each bit propagates on it’s own not waiting for the rest of the packet to which it belongs.

It also requires some arbitrating mechanism is required to the ring. IEEE 802.5 is a ring based LAN, which operates at 4 and 16 Mbps.

Ex:- FDDI.

LANs can be as simple as 2 pc’s and a printer (or) as long as with in a building.

LAN is used for sharing H/w (or) S/w (or) data.


Author: vikramarka

Completed M.Tech in Digital Electronics and Communication Systems and currently working as a faculty.