The Four Different Kinds Of Wireless Networks

A wireless network uses a wireless signal to communicate between devices connected in the network. In a wireless network, we use signals like radio waves, microwaves, or infrared to send and receive data between two devices.

There are four types of wireless networks.

The Wireless network is of four types. They are Wireless LAN, MAN, WAN, and PAN. We mention them as WLAN, WMAN, WPAN, and W-WAN.

This article gives you a brief introduction to each type of WiFi network. We order them below according to the size of the area they cover.

Different Types of Wireless Networks

  1. Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN)

    Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN) transfer data between two devices in a short distance. Examples are Bluetooth and infrared.

    WPAN covers a short distance around a mother device or a single person.

    If you are looking for an example of a Wireless PAN, consider a WiFi keyboard and a WiFi mouse are them.

  2. Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN)

    WLAN uses IEEE 802.11 standards to communicate between devices. It is also called WI-Fi and operates in two frequencies ( 2.4GHz and 5GHz).

    WLAN Covers an office or Building.

    A Wireless LAN includes a WiFi router and wireless devices connected to it. To learn more about WLAN, click on the link below.

  3. Wireless Metropolitan Area Network (W-MAN)

    As the name suggests, a wireless network that covers an area equivalent to a metropolitan city is called WMAN.

    WMAN is larger than WLAN and smaller than W-WAN.

    The difference between MAN and W-MAN is the use of wireless technology to connect devices.

  4. Wireless Wide Area Network (W-WAN)

    A wireless network that covers a large area is a W-WAN. A Wireless WAN covers a lot more area than a WMAN covers. It is the largest wireless network.

You have learned the different kinds of wireless networks. Now, we will check a few examples.

Examples of Different Types of Wireless Networks

Now, we look into a few wireless networks and check which kind of network they are.

  1. At first, we check for an example of a Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN). Consider a desktop computer and its wireless keyboard and mouse. Both wireless devices stay near the desktop computer and form a WPAN.

  2. Mobile networks cover a land area to enable mobile communication. Different cells use different radio frequencies to avoid possible interference with neighboring cells.

    You can categorize mobile networks under W-WAN. So, when somebody asks you for an example of W-WAN, name the mobile network.

  3. WiFi uses IEEE 802.11 standards and comes under WLAN. Examples are 802.11a, 802.11b etc. Each standard has its frequency and speed. For example, 802.11n is faster than 802.11a/b and g standards.

    WiFi is a Wireless LAN.

    Both band g standards work with 2.4 GHz frequency. However, 802.11a works at the 5GHz frequency. 802.11n standard works in both 2.4GHz and 5 GHz frequencies.