A computer network refers to the hardware (computers, cables etc) and software (operating systems etc) which are inter-connected to communicate and share data. At the most basic level, a computer network can be comprised of just a single device to send data and a single remote device to receive the data. Because of the geographical difference in the scope of computer networks, there has been a process to classify these differences. Provided below is a list of the most common types of geographical computer network.
BAN - Body Area Network - Comprises communication between sensors placed on the human body.
CAN - Campus Area Network - Refers to a number of LAN's connected together at governmental and educational buildings such as college's and universities.
HAN - Home Area Network - As the name would suggest, a HAN is the connection of network enabled devices in a domestic home.
LAN - Local Area Network - The scope of a LAN is larger than that of a HAN and smaller than that of a CAN. A LAN is typically the network of computers placed in a school or a small office.
MAN - Metropolitan Area Network - Larger than a CAN, a MAN covers a wide metropolitan area - such as city centre - and incorporates high capacity (backbone) networking hardware.
PAN - Personal Area Network - Refers to communication from and between small handheld devices - such as mobile phones, smartphones, bluetooth etc.
WAN - Wide Area Network - The largest of the geographical computer networks listed on this page. WAN's connect regional and national computer networks together.