LAN is a group of computers, printers and other interconnected devices.

Characteristics of a LAN include:

Limited geographic operation
High speed data transfer rates
Full time connectivity to local services
Generally lower in cost than a WAN
Cabling is primary transmission medium

Wide Area Network (WAN) is a computer network that covers a broad area (i.e., any network whose communications links cross metropolitan, regional, or national boundaries [1]). This is in contrast with personal area networks (PANs), local area networks (LANs), campus area networks (CANs), or metropolitan area networks (MANs) which are usually limited to a room, building, campus or specific metropolitan area (e.g., a city) respectively. The largest and most well-known example of a WAN is the Internet.

Characteristics of WAN

1.Connect Multiple LANs via an Ethernet Network
Connect multiple LANs using Ethernet technology. Build a network as a single overall LAN segment.

2.Wide-Area LAN that utilizes a High-Speed Layer 2 Switch
Layer 2 switch within each backbone houses a access line. Users have access to a full-mesh WAN architecture that does not rely on Layer 3 or other higher order layers.

3.Layer 2 Level Advanced Security
Virtual LAN technology (VLAN) is used to assign a user ID for each user, allowing network segmentation below the IP layer.

4.Compatible with a Variety of Access Lines
Offers a number of network services compatible with bandwidths from 128kbps to 1Gbps, as well as Ether/ ATM/ DSL/ MDN, etc.

Characteristics of a MAN

A MAN is a relatively new class of network, it serves a role similar to an ISP, but for corporate users with large LANs.They typically use wireless infrastructure or Optical fiber connections to link their sites.

1.The network size falls intermediate between LANs and WANs. A MAN typically covers an area of between 5 and 50 km diameter. Many MANs cover an area the size of a city, although in some cases MANs may be as small as a group of buildings or as large as the North of Scotland.

2.A MAN (like a WAN) is not generally owned by a single organisation. The MAN, its communications links and equipment are generally owned by either a consortium of users or by a single network provider who sells the service to the users. This level of service provided to each user must therefore be negotiated with the MAN operator, and some performance guarantees are normally specified.

3.A MAN often acts as a high speed network to allow sharing of regional resources (similar to a large LAN). It is also frequently used to provide a shared connection to other networks using a link to a WAN.