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Lesson 4 Using other networks
Objective Describe how businesses use other types of networks.

How Businesses use other Types of Networks

A cohesive blend of Wide Area Network (WAN), Local Area Network (LAN), and Virtual Private Network (VPN) can effectively constitute an Intranet. A LAN is a network that connects computers and devices in a limited geographical area such as a home, school, office building, or closely positioned group of buildings. These networks are used for data transfer, sharing resources, and communications. They typically include devices such as workstations, printers, servers, and various other devices. Due to the geographical proximity of connected devices, LANs enjoy high data transfer rates and relatively low latency.
On a broader scale, a WAN is a network that covers large geographical areas, often connecting multiple LANs. WANs can span across cities, countries, or even continents. The Internet is the most famous example of a WAN. However, a business or organization may maintain a private WAN to facilitate communication and collaboration across multiple locations. WANs use technologies like MPLS, ATM or Frame Relay for transmission. A VPN is a technology that creates a safe and encrypted connection over a less secure network, such as the internet. VPN technology was developed as a way to allow remote users and branch offices to securely access corporate applications and other resources. It extends a private network across a public network and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network.
Question: How do these elements form an Intranet?
An intranet is a private network that is contained within an enterprise. It may consist of many interlinked local area networks and also use leased lines in the wide area network. Additionally, an intranet includes connections through one or more gateway computers to the external internet. To protect the intranet from unauthorized access, firewalls are used. When these three network types:
  1. LAN,
  2. WAN, and
  3. VPN
are combined, they form an intricate and versatile intranet. The LAN serves as the base, providing localized network services. The WAN links these LANs together across larger geographic distances, creating a network of networks within the organization. Lastly, VPNs ensure secure remote access to this network, effectively extending the intranet beyond its physical locations. This guarantees safe, reliable, and fast communication and data transfer within the organization, irrespective of the geographical location of its parts.
Hence, LAN, WAN, and VPN technologies, when deployed together, can constitute an efficient, robust, and secure intranet framework.
Other network technologies are available to connect workgroups in an organization and remote equipment to other resources. Such technologies include local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and virtual private networks (VPNs).

Local area network (LAN)

A LAN is a private network that connects computers in an organization's workgroup, department, or building.
As more computers are added to an organization's data processing resources, the need for a LAN to link these independent computers increases. Businesses deploy LANs for users to share files, applications, printers, Internet access, and peripherals such as tape backup drives as shown below.

Local Area Network
Local Area Network

Wide area network (WAN)

A WAN is a private network that connects geographically remote equipment, usually through a physical connection using high-speed telephone lines. WANs can be used to interconnect LANs across a campus or across the country. Businesses use WANs for users to share network resources across great distances as shown below.

Wide Area Network
Wide Area Network

Virtual private network (VPN)

A VPN is an alternative to a WAN. Rather than using a physical connection, a VPN uses the Internet. Special software on client computers connects across an intranet or the Internet to special software on a dedicated server. VPNs use encryption to keep the data secure. Unlike other remote access options, VPNs allow users to employ higher speed cable modems and DSL, a type of Internet connection that runs on your existing phone line. Businesses use VPNs to provide traveling or telecommuting employees secure access without long-distance costs. The illustration below shows an employee with VPN using the Internet to access company data.
In the next lesson, signs will be used to create meaning on a website.

Virtual Private Network

Various Networks - Quiz

Click the Quiz link below to test your understanding of other types of networks.
Various Networks - Quiz