Definition of computer networks
- Local-area networks (LANs): The computers are geographically close together (that is, in the same building).
- Wide-area networks (WANs): The computers are farther apart and are connected by telephone lines or radio waves.
- Campus-area networks (CANs): The computers are within a limited geographic area, such as a campus or military base.
- Metropolitan-area networks (MANs): A data network designed for a town or city.
- Home-area networks (HANs): A network contained within a user's home that connects a person's digital devices.
- topology: The geometric arrangement of a computer system. Common topologies include a bus, star, and ring.
- protocol: The protocol defines a common set of rules and signals that computers on the network use to communicate. Two of the most popular protocols for LANs is called Ethernet and the IBM token-ring network.
- architecture: Networks can be broadly classified as using either a peer-to-peer or client/server architecture.