Computer networks have been increasing in volume for a very long time. Today, there are billions of users of computer networks in the world. When something impacts the human race on such a big scale, a lot of discussions take place on it. In order for you to know more and contribute more towards such discussions, we will be discussing the most commonly used type of computer network.
What Is A Computer Network?
A computer network is a connection between two or more computing devices that results in the receiving and giving of information. A computing device can be anything ranging from a conventional personal computer (PC), such as a laptop or desktop, to anything that can run a program, including smartphones, smartwatches, and smart home devices such as Google Home and Alexa.
Types of Networks
There are many types of computer networks in the world. These include but are not limited to:
- Personal Area Networks (PANs): This is the smallest type of network. In fact, it can be as small as a printer, a computer, and a modem. Needless to say, given its name, it is used by people for personal reasons to fulfill their individual needs.
- Local Area Networks (LANs): Local Area Networks are used for connecting computing devices in the same locality such as within a building. Therefore, many office managers prefer to install this type of network to connect computers in their offices.
- Campus Area Networks (CANs): As the name suggests, computers close to one another in nearby buildings can be linked to one another using CANs. A lot of college campuses and those of large companies have these kinds of networks. Google may very well have installed a campus area network to connect computing systems in its campus, GooglePlex.
- Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs): Metropolitan Area Networks are known to connect people in a single city. They are often owned by a local authority or a company looking to expand its brand in a city.
- Wide Area Network (WANs): These are networks that connect computing devices over multiple cities. One example of a WAN is the connection between automated teller machines of the same bank in different parts of the United States of America.
The Internet Is A Wide Area Network
From the above, it is easy to conclude that the internet is a wide area network. While connecting computing devices in different cities is enough to be categorized as a wide area network, the internet connects people on different continents. Notably, the providers, such as the Xfinity internet brand, may differ but they are all providing the same product and the subscribers of all of them are called internet users. This is why it can easily be termed as the widest of all WANs.
WANs – The Most Commonplace Type Of Networks
From the above, we can come up with the conclusion that Wide Area Networks are easily the most commonplace type of network. We say this with so much confidence because the internet is, by far, the most commonly used network. How so? Let us explain.
Why Is Internet The Most Commonplace Network?
The internet is present everywhere, no matter you go to the Northern Hemisphere or the Southern Hemisphere. You will also find it as you move from a Western nation to an Eastern nation as well. Even if you go to the International Space Station, you will get hold of it. This is because of satellite technology which allows for people to get internet even on the poles. To date, no other network is available on every continent of the world, let alone the International Space Station.
Another measure of how commonplace WANs are compared to other types of networks is the number of devices connected to WANs. Right now, there are 35 billion devices connected to the internet. As more and more smart devices get invented, this number can only be expected to increase over time.
Over five billion people in the world are connected to the internet. This means that any person is more likely to be an internet user than not. Just like the number of devices connected to it, the number of people connected to the internet is also likely to increase. It is important to note that people of all cultures use the internet. On the contrary, no network of the other types serves nearly as big a population.
We hope this article helps you appreciate how widespread the wide area networks are. They are indeed the most commonly used type of computer network. And it makes sense as well. Wide area networks, by virtue of their names, are supposed to be used by the widest audience.