Network Types

  • LAN - Local Area Network
  • WLAN - Wireless Local Area Network
  • WAN - Wide Area Network
  • MAN - Metropolitan Area Network
  • SAN - Storage Area Network, System Area Network, Server Area Network, or sometimes Small Area Network
  • CAN - Campus Area Network, Controller Area Network, or sometimes Cluster Area Network
  • PAN - Personal Area Network
  • DAN - Desk Area Network


Ethernet is a physical and data link layer technology for local area networks (LANs). Ethernet was invented by engineer Robert Metcalfe.

When first widely deployed in the 1980s, Ethernet supported a maximum theoretical data rate of 10 megabits per second (Mbps). Later, so-called "Fast Ethernet" standards increased this maximum data rate to 100 Mbps. Today, Gigabit Ethernet technology further extends peak performance up to 1000 Mbps.


A global network connecting millions of computers. More than 100 countries are linked into exchanges of data, news and opinions. Unlike online services, which are centrally controlled, the Internet is decentralized by design. Each Internet computer, called a host, is independent. Its operators can choose which Internet services to use and which local services to make available to the global Internet community. Remarkably, this anarchy by design works exceedingly well. There are a variety of ways to access the Internet. Most online services, such as America Online, offer access to some Internet services. It is also possible to gain access through a commercial Internet Service Provider (ISP).