Difference Between LAN, MAN, and WAN

By Aina Parasher|Updated : April 29th, 2022

Difference Between LAN, MAN, and WAN: Computer networks aid in the formation of social bonds. These networks are reliant on the internet's availability and speed. These networks are all utilized to provide internet access to users. There are three kinds of computer networks based on the area they cover.

  • LAN (Local Area Network)
  • MAN (Metropolitan Area Network)
  • WAN (Wide Area Network)

All these three computer networks appear similar but are different based on their location coverage. In the sections below we will read a brief introduction about LAN, MAN, WAN and the difference between LAN, MAN, and WAN.

Table of Content

What is LAN?

LAN stands for Local Area Network. It's a combination of network devices that allow several linked devices to communicate with one another. Rather than the public, private ownership has authority over the local area network. It applies to smaller regions such as colleges, schools, and hospitals.

Computers in schools are one of the most common examples of LAN. All of the computers are wired together and share a single database. It has wired networks such that all the computers and printers are connected via wires. The most important example of LAN is the computers in schools.

What is MAN?

MAN stands for Metropolitan Area Network. It covers a greater region than LAN, including small towns, cities, and other urban areas. MAN is a network that links two or more computers in the same or other cities. MAN is costly, and it is debatable whether it should or should not be held by a single institution.

MAN can be used with wires/cables or a modem. A common example of MAN is a telephone company network, which provides users with high-speed DSL lines. The interconnection of numerous links/networks in a metropolitan region is its key characteristic. In MAN, point-to-point connections are employed. The MAN network size ranges from 5 to 50 kilometers. 

What is WAN?

WAN stands for Wide Area Network. It covers a larger area than LAN as well as MAN. The WAN is not tied to a certain place. It facilitates communication and information exchange among the links. In comparison to MAN and LAN, WAN is the biggest network. A WAN can encompass an entire nation, continent, or even the entire world. Broadband services, 3G or 4G connections, and other WAN services are examples.

What is the Difference Between LAN, MAN, and WAN?

 As we have discussed in brief about LAN, MAN, and WAN. We have provided the difference between LAN, MAN, and WAN in the table given below.

A local area network (LAN) is a network that links a small group of computers in a certain geographic region.MAN is a much larger network that spans significant areas such as towns and cities.The WAN network reaches out to a much greater area. It has the ability to link a number of countries. The Internet, for example, is a WAN.
The speed of LAN is high.The speed of MAN is average.The speed of WAN is low.
The ownership of LAN is private.The ownership of MAN can be private or public.The ownership of WAN can be private or public.
It is used in schools, colleges, and hospitals.It is used for small towns/ cities.It is used for countries/ continents.
It is easier and less expensive to design and maintain a LAN than it is to manage a WAN. MAN design and maintenance is more difficult and expensive than LAN. WAN design and maintenance is more difficult and expensive than LAN and MAN.


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  • The difference between LAN, MAN, and WAN is that LAN covers a small geographical region, whereas MAN covers a larger area, and WAN covers the largest of all. LAN is limited to schools, hospitals, or buildings, whereas MAN links small towns or cities, and WAN connects a country or a group of countries.

  • A Local Region Network (LAN) is a private network that links computers and gadgets inside a certain geographical area, such as a home, workplace, building, or college. LANs are used to link personal computers to printers on a modest scale.

  • "Metropolitan Area Network" is the abbreviation for MAN. A metropolitan area network (MAN) is a network that covers a wide area, such as a town or city. It's bigger than a college area network (CAN), but not as big as a wide area network (WAN).

  • A wide area network (sometimes referred to as WAN) is a huge network of computers that is not connected to a single place. WANs connect LANs and other types of networks so that users and computers in one area may interact with users and computers in another.

  • Based on their transmission speed, the difference between LAN, MAN, and WAN is that- the speed of LAN is high, the speed of MAN is average, whereas, the speed of WAN is low.

  • Based on the number of users, the difference between LAN, MAN, and WAN is provided below.

    • In LAN, only one pair of devices is required to communicate.
    • In MAN, multiple computers can communicate at the same time.
    • At the same time, a large number of computers communicate in WAN.

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