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Physical scope of Networks

A local area network (LAN) is a group of computers and associated devices that share a common communications line or wireless link. Typically, connected devices share the resources of a single processor or server within a small geographic area (for example, within an office building). Usually, the server has applications and data storage that are shared in common by multiple computer users. A local area network may serve as few as two or three users (for example, in a home network) or as many as thousands of users.

 

Example of Local Area Network

Adding printers, scanners, projectors, phones, plotters and faxes etc. to your network.

A computer network that spans a relatively large geographical area. Typically, a wide area network (WAN) consists of two or more local-area networks (LAN's). In the example below the wireless building below could be considered a LAN.

Example Wide Area Network

 

Now that the two major networks are identified we can break them down into more specialized networks.

Some are Personal Area Network (PAN), Home Area Network (HAN), Campus Network, Global Network, Enterprise Private Network and Virtual Private Network (VPN) which are all LAN's, WAN's or a mixture of both.

 

It all comes down to what you need for your to create a viable and reliable connection through routers, switches, wireless transmitters and repeaters. Next we need to consider security. Go here for more on security