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Computer Network Types and Classification Research Paper

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Updated: May 12th, 2022



A network is defined as an “interconnection of three or more communicating entities”.

According to the glossary of telecommuting terms, a computer network is a network of data processing nodes which are interconnected for purposes of data communication’. However, it is not yet clear whether an interconnection between two computers can be constituted as a computer network. Despite this definition, it is still generally accepted that a connection involving a computer or a set of computers to peripheral devices like printers using an Ethernet link or RJ-cables still constitute a computer network.

For a computer to be functional it must meet three basic requirements, which are it must provide services, communications and most of all a connection whether wireless or physical. the connection is generally the hardware in use, the communications refer to the way the devices talk whether in an analogue or digital manner while the services refer to the data or the things shared across the network.

Typs of networks

Local area networks (LAN)

A local area network refers to a network that is based on a small geographic area like an office home or building. A local area network does not necessarily require leased lines, it has higher data transfer rates compared to wide area networks as well as a small geographic radius.

Wide area networks (WAN)

A wide area network in contrast to a local area network has a bigger geographical coverage. It could be town-based like a metropolitan network or it could even cover a whole country or continent. It is the kind of networks used for government ministries use, or it can also be used by special departments in ministries of different countries in a certain trading block.


This is a form of a specialized inter-network mostly used by a single organization, or an organization with its close and trusted affiliates. These kinds of networks may either be on a small or big geographical location. It is highly protected and in most cases, persons with permissions to access the site usually have their own usernames and passwords.

Personal area network (PAN)

This interconnection of computers and other peripheral devices like printers, scanners and communication devices like faxes and telephone lines is mostly available for the use of one person e.g. the operations manager of a certain firm. It is usually used for interpersonal communication and it could be within a radius of a few meters.

Classification of computer networks

By use of network layers

There are two main models fop0r this is the four layers TCP/IP (transport control protocol/internet protocol) model and the seven-layer OSI (open systems interconnection) model. These are generally basic structural models used in the industry.

On a scale basis

This classification considers mainly the geographical location coverage of the network e.g., a personal area connection has a smaller scale than a local area network.

Connection method model

This model involves classifying networks based on the types of hardware that is used to connect the communicating devices. Thus, we might have an Ethernet connection, a wireless connection or a power line communication.

General/ basic hardware necessary for making a computer network

Computer connections are commonly referred to as nodes. Depending on the type and/or function of a computer network there are some basic hard wares required. These basic hardware does include, network interface cards (NICs), switches, routers and bridges.


  1. Bernard John Poole, essential Microsoft office 2003: Tutorials for Teachers.
  2. . Web.
  3. Larry L. Peterson, Bruce S. Davie (2007), Computer Networks: A Systems Approach, Elsevier.
  4. Uyless D. Black (1993), Computer Networks: Protocols, Standards and Interfaces, Prentice Hall.
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