Network Geography

Jason Dion • 500,000+ Enrollments Worldwide
A free video tutorial from Jason Dion • 500,000+ Enrollments Worldwide
CISSP, CEH, Pentest+, CySA+, Sec+, Net+, A+, PRINCE2, ITIL
4.6 instructor rating • 25 courses • 320,066 students

Lecture description

This video discusses the Network Geography associated with the Network+ exam: PAN, LAN, CAN, MAN, and WAN.

Learn more from the full course

CompTIA Network+ (N10-007) Full Course & Practice Exam

CompTIA Network+ (N10-007) Bootcamp - Certification preparation course on the most popular networking certification!

14:30:22 of on-demand video • Updated April 2021

  • Passing the Network+ certification exam with confidence
  • Understanding computer networks, their functions, and their components
  • Subnetting networks
  • Performing basic network configurations
  • Becoming an effective networking technician in a small-to-medium sized business environment
English -: In the last lesson, we talked specifically about the way that we share data. Whether we're going to use a client-server model, or a peer-to-peer model, but we really didn't talk about the distance that we could share it across, and that's what we're going to focus on in this lesson. So, when we talk about network geography, we're going to start with our smallest networks, and work our way out to our largest networks. The smallest one we're going to cover is known as a personal area network, or PAN. It's the smallest type of wired or wireless network we can use, and it usually covers about 10 feet or less, so about a couple of meters of distance. Now, some of examples of personal area networks would be things like Bluetooth and USB. Bluetooth is a great example of one. It operates at about 10 feet, or three meters, and if you have your phone in your pocket and you get in your car and it starts transmitting music from your phone wirelessly to your radio in your car, that's only about three or four feet away, right? This is an example of a personal area network because you have a connection between your car stereo or radio with your cell phone. Now, what about your USB connections? Well, those can be personal area networks, too. If I take a USB hard drive and I connect it to my laptop, that's actually a serial connection, and it's considered a network, it's actually going to be a personal area network. If you have an older standard like FireWire for your video cameras or a webcam and you plug it in, these would also be considered a personal area network. Now, the way I like to think about this is if I put my arms out to my side and I spin into a circle, anything I can touch, that's about my personal area network distance, something around there or maybe a little bit more. Now, the next one we have as we get to a larger network is called a LAN. This is a local area network. If you worked in an office building, you probably had a LAN at work. It connects components in a limited distance, generally up to about 100 meters or 300 feet. Each segment can only go about 100 meters if you're using CAT 5 cabling, but if you're going to use fiber optic cabling, you can actually go further. We'll talk about distance limitations when we get to the ethernet fundamentals section, but for right now, when you think about a LAN, think about it being a small office or one floor of an office building. Now, your networks can be consisting of either Wi-Fi or Ethernet, depending on how you want to set them up. If you're using Ethernet, you're going to be using the IEEE 802.3 standard. Now, if you're using Wi-Fi, you're going to be using the IEEE 802.11 standard. We'll talk specifically about these standards in a future lesson as we dig deeper into the protocols and standards. As you're going through the course, anytime I mention a standard, like 802.11 or 802.3, you should write that down with a word next to it that reminds you what that standard is used for. So, in my notes, I'd have 802.11, Wi-Fi, 802.3, Ethernet, something like that. This will help you out a lot on the exam if you have that cheat sheet at the end that you can study right before the exam. Now, what are some examples of a LAN? Well, the internal wired or wireless network in your office building or in your school or in your classroom, these are all local area network connections. In fact, if you're sitting at home right now watching this video, you're sitting on your local area network inside your house, making a connection between your devices, your printers, your other laptops, your desktops that are all inside of your house as part of the LAN. Now, the next one we want to talk about is going to be called a campus area network, or CAN. Now, a campus area network is a building-centric LAN that's spread across numerous buildings in a certain area. So, if you're at a college, or a business park, or an industrial park, and you have three or four different buildings, they may all be linked together in what's called a campus area network. This can cover several miles, and across many different buildings. For example, I teach at several different colleges, and each of those colleges has a campus area network that spans the entire university, and so, no matter which building you're in, each building has its own LAN, local area network, that you connect to, but then those LANs are connected together to form this campus area network. Now, examples of this, again, are going to be things like college campuses, business parks, and military bases. All of these form what is known as the campus area network, or CAN. So, up to this point, we covered our personal area network, the small space around us, we covered the LAN, usually the area of our house or apartment, and then, we covered our campus area network, where we connect a couple of buildings together that are within a couple of miles. The next one goes even further out, and we're going to talk about it, it's called a MAN. A MAN is a metropolitan area network. This is going to connect locations that are scattered across the entire city. This is larger than a campus area network, but it is smaller than a global wide area network. And so, this can cover an area up to about 25 miles or maybe even a little bit bigger, depending on the size of your city. So, let me go back to my example. One of the colleges I teach for is a community college. They actually have six different campuses spread out across our city. Each of those campuses has a campus area network, but each of those campus area networks are also connected together to form a metropolitan area network, so, all of our campuses are in one large university network. Other examples of this might be if you look at your city's department, like the department of motor vehicles, or the police department. They may have lots of locations dotted across your cities, and they're all connected together to form one network. These are some great examples of what a MAN might look like. And this brings us to our last one, our biggest network, which is known as the wide area network, or WAN. Now, a wide area network connects geographically-disparate internal networks. So, this can consist of leased lines, or virtual private networks that are tunneled over the Internet. Now, if you don't know what those two terms are, don't worry about that right now, we're going to go into both of them later on in the course in a lot of depth. So, for right now, I want you to focus on the fact that a WAN covers a large geographic area. This may be across your state, across your country, or even across the world. For example, we actually look at the Internet as a WAN, it is a wide area network. In fact, it is the largest wide area network available. So, if I'm sitting in my office, and I'm recording this, and I'm going to upload it to a file server that you're going to access from your home wherever you are in the world, well, that's going to happen over a wide area network connection. Now, another important thing to think about when we talk about a wide area network connection is the fact that they don't always have to be public like the Internet is. In fact, let's take the example of a company that has an office in New York and an office in California. Now, each of those two locations has their own local area networks, but if we wanted to connect them together over a private intranet, we could do that using a wide area network connection because we're taking this very large network going across the entire country and connecting it together. So, we have these two local area networks, but they're still tied over this larger WAN link. A good example of this is the government of the United States. They have offices all over the country, in fact, all 50 states, spanning three or 4,000 miles, right? All of those can be connected through a private wide area network connection, so, they have a wide area network that is made up of all of these smaller networks. So, when we look at network geography, I want you to remember the distance involved. So, as we start thinking about this, let's look at this diagram. We have our smallest network, the personal area network, and then we move out, and we get to our local area network, and then we go even further, and start getting a couple of buildings with our campus area network, and then we connect a couple of those buildings together across the city, and that becomes a metropolitan area network. And then finally, we go across the state, the country, or even the world, with our wide area network. So, when it comes down to it, if you can remember this one slide and these distances that we're talking about, smallest to largest, and what these networks stack up, you're going to be able to answer any question you get as far as PANs, LANs, CANs, MANs, and WANs on the exam, because you'll know how far they can go and what type of networks that they're using to do it.