A computer network or a network is when two or more computers are connected together to share resources such as hardware, data, and software.
There are various types of network types e.g. LAN (peer to peer, or client/server), WAN, MAN and they can all be distinguished from one another.
Local Area Network (LAN): A local area network (LAN) is a group of computers and associated devices that share a common communications line or wireless link. The computers are connected in a geographical close network, such as in the same building campus or could span two buildings of a similar office park. 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 in a school network or college.
Peer to Peer Network: No dedicated servers which makes all computes equal and are known as PEERS. Each computer acts both a server and client and the users perform their own administration.
Client Server: Used in an environment with more than 10 users where a dedicated SERVER is used. Provides centralised control of administration and the sharing and resources.
Metropolitan Area Network (MAN): A MAN is data network designed for a town or city. In terms of geographic breadth, MANs are larger than local-area networks (LANs), but smaller than wide-area networks (WANs). MANs are usually characterized by very high-speed connections using fiber optical cable or other digital media.
Wide Are Network (WAN): WAN is a computer that spans a relatively large geographical area. A WAN consists of two or more local-area networks LANs. Computers connected to a wide-area network are often connected through public networks, such as the telephone system. They can also be connected through leased lines or satellites. A WAN also consists of a number of LANs connected over a large geographical area – this could be more than one location in the country – London Sheffield or around the world. The largest WAN in existence is the Internet.