Difference Between LAN,WAN and MAN

LAN,MAN and MAN  are three main data communication technologies which have been currently using in our advanced communication network system. These technologies are covered the communication distance between 100 to above 1000 meters. In this article we will describe what is main difference between LAN,WAN and MAN as well as with the basic of these three technologies such as their IP addresses ,MAC addresses ,TCP protocols, ARP protocols  and their network devices such their router, bridge, switch ,,firewall  and gateway etc. The simple figure of these three technologies is shown below,Difference Between LAN ,WAN and MAN 1

Figure 1 LAN,WAN and MAN Network Systems

Introduction to LAN

  • The word LAN stands for local area network. It is small area network system that is mainly used in small offices, homes or nearby buildings for connecting their computers with each other. 10 to 100 users could be easily shared their data with each other at same time with out any interruption.
  • Beside this, the data resources such as printer, hard disk or modem etc. also shared with one computer to another computer through this LAN system.
  • In this condition when one computer is connected with another computer such as 10 to 100 then this computer is act as a controller. All the data is controlled though this controller unit.
  • This controller unit is connected  with other units through LAN cable such as twisted pair of cable or coaxial cable etc. or wireless or the combination of both.
  • Initially, this system was designed for sending data rate 108 per bit but later on it was developed for sending data rate whose range from 10 Mbps,100 Mbps and 1Gbps. A simple hotel local area network system is shown in figure 2Difference Between LAN ,WAN and MAN

Figure 2 A Simple Hotel LAN System

Here we shell describe this LAN system with a simple example shown in figure 2 for reader understanding. In this figure PMS is the power management system, because it is connected with other units through cable  therefore it acts a controller unit. It controlled the other units or devices such as electronic locking system , call accounting system, and energy management system etc. All the instructions are executed or de-executed through this control unit.

Introduction to WAN

  • The word WAN stands for wide area network system. It is lager area network system which is normally used as country level or state level.
  • This system is mostly used for two purpose such as for sending or receiving data as well as with voice. For installing this WAN system a typical router is required for making the connection between LAN to WAN.
  • So many examples of WAN system are available, but the best example is internet in whole country, because it connects the LAN and MAN with the help of ISPs. A simple WAN system is shown in figure 3Difference Between LAN ,WAN and MAN

Figure 3 WAN System

Introduction to MAN

  • The word MAN stands for metropolitan area network. It is the type of network which has higher  data transfer rate and greater coverage area, but this data rate and coverage area is greater then LAN but less then WAN.
  • The most famous example of  this metropolitan area network is the TV cable system which is locally installed at house level. In this system, cable company received the TV channel from satellite and then send it to individual house  through coaxial cable.

Difference Between LAN,WAN & MAN

Here we shell describe the main difference between LAN,WAN and MAN with the help of table,




LAN is the abbreviation of  local area network


WAN is the abbreviation of  wide area network


Man is the abbreviation of metropolitan network





What is it?

  • It is the type of networking system in which systems are very close to each other.
  • This system is normally in a single office, building or home
  • Every single organization or company has lot of LANs connection.
  • In is the type of networking system, which have large number of connections and these  are connected with different companies or organizations at same time.
  • It is type of networking system in which two or more LANs are connected.
  • It is situated at large geographical area.

Operational Speed

Its operational speed is normally 10,100 and 1000 Mbps.Its operation is speed is normally 100 Mbps.Its operational speed is normally 1.5 Mbps and it may be very at wireless network.

Operational Mediums

The operational mediums, which is used by LAN technology for data transfer or browsing is mostly twisted pair of  optical fiber cable or ,wireless etc. and these mediums are normally locally installed.The operational medium which is used by WAN system is mostly common carrier twisted pair of fiber optical cable. These cables are locally installed.The mediums which are used by MAN technology is mostly  coaxial cables and twisted pair of fiber optical cables.

v  The medium could be wireless based  or cellular based.


Distance Range

This distance which is covered by LAN technology is up to 2 miles.


The distance which is covered by WAN technology is normally up to 100 miles and it is mostly installed in schools and offices etc.The distance which is covered by MAN technology is unlimited. Means, the repeater could be installed easily for expanding the distance range.It is mostly installed in large area networking places such as in country or world etc.
BandwidthIts bandwidth is high.Its bandwidth is low.Its bandwidth is moderate.
Propagation DelayLAN propagation delay is short.WAN propagation delay is long.MAN propagation delay is moderate.
Maintenance and DesignThe design and maintenance of LAN system is very easy as compared to WAN and MAN.The design and maintenance of WAN system is difficult.The design and maintenance of MAN system is difficult.
CostThis system is not so much costly as compared to WAN and MAN..This system is little bit costly as compared to LANThis is cost effective system compared to LAN and WAN .
Ownership This system could be installed privatelyThis system could be installed  privately ,publicly or leased.This system could be installed  privately , or publicly.
Congestion This system is easy and less congested as compared to WAN and MAN.This system is less easy and more congested as compared to LAN.This system is less easy and more congested as compared to LAN and WAN .
Different ApplicationsLAN system is mostly used in desk top computers and laptops etc.

Currently, it has been also using in smart phone for considering emergency condition in WLAN network system.

This WAN system is mainly used in only mine and desk top computers.


This MAN system could be used as any device but in desk top devices this system is commonly used for networking purpose.
Tolerance during Fault ConditionLAN system provides more tolerance during any fault conditionWAN system provides less tolerance during any fault condition.MAN system provides less tolerance during any fault condition.

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