Understanding Networks

In computing and technology, the networks denotes a grouping of interconnected devices or nodes designed to share resources, data, or services. These devices encompass computers, servers, routers, switches, and a range of other hardware elements.

Moreover, networks have the flexibility to employ a range of communication technologies and protocols, such as Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, TCP/IP, among others.

This are essential for facilitating communication, sharing data, and fostering collaboration among devices and individuals across personal and professional settings.

3 main types of network


LANs, or Local Area Networks, connect devices within a limited geographic area like a single building or campus, utilizing high-speed Ethernet or Wi-Fi connections for communication. They facilitate local communication, file sharing, and resource sharing in homes, offices, schools, and small businesses.


Another type of network is MANs, or Metropolitan Area Networks. This are multiple interconnected LANs or networks within a city or metropolitan area, often employing high-capacity fiber optic cables or wireless technologies like WiMAX. This serves organizations, universities, and government agencies by linking local networks across a city for shared resources, internet access, and other services.


The third type of network is WANs, known as Wide Area Networks. This connect multiple LANs, MANs, or networks over long distances, utilizing technologies like leased lines and satellite links. They enable organizations to link their offices or facilities across different cities or countries, providing access to centralized resources, data sharing, and communication services.

Public and Private Network

The Internet connects millions of devices globally, which enables users to communicate worldwide, share information, and access resources. It is a public network accessible to anyone with an internet connection, based on standard protocols like TCP/IP, and operates with a decentralized architecture.

Organizations use intranets as private networks to facilitate communication, collaboration, and information sharing among employees. Intranets utilize the same technologies and protocols as the Internet but restrict access to authorized users within the organization.

Extranets extend an organization’s intranet to provide limited access to external users, such as customers, partners, or suppliers. This then would enable secure sharing of resources or collaboration with external parties while maintaining control over access and security. Access to extranets is typically granted through authentication mechanisms, ensuring users only access authorized resources or services.

internet vs. intranet vs. extranet

AccessibilityPublicPrivateControlled access to external parties
UsersGlobalRestricted to organization’s employeesCombination of organization and external users
PurposeGlobal communication, information sharingInternal communication, collaborationCollaboration with external parties, controlled sharing of resources
SecurityVaries, often requires user authenticationRestricted access, secured by firewallsControlled access, authenticated users
ExamplesWorld Wide Web, email, online servicesInternal websites, databasesPartner portals, customer support platforms
This table illustrates how Internet, intranet, and extranet differ regarding accessibility, users, purpose, security, and examples.

In conclusion, understanding networks in computing tech is crucial in our connected world. Moreover, whether it’s LANs, MANs, WANs, or specialized intranets and extranets, these networks drive communication and collaboration. The Internet has revolutionized how we interact globally.

Knowing the differences between network types and their setups is vital for effective communication structures. Networks, from local to global scales, boost innovation and productivity. Understanding network basics is vital as cloud computing and IoT redefine connectivity, ensuring success in navigating the evolving digital landscape.

Reference: https://www.joinblink.com/intelligence/internet-intranet-extranet

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