05-13-2014 12:30 PM
There are 4 different wireless topologies you can use to deploy a network. Personal area network, Local area network, Metropolitan area network, and Wide area network are used every day but you will not need all 4 to satisfy a small SOHO deployment.
The smallest in terms of coverage is the wireless PAN. PANs are very restricted in cell size. The 802.15 IEEE work group works on PAN technologies such as ZigBee and Bluetooth
The next in size and probably the most common is the wireless LAN. A LAN is a network that is usually confined to a building or a campus. The network at your home is a LAN. The network doesn’t route through the internet but provides users access to the gateway to the internet. The network also provides users the availability to share across the network.
A step up from the LAN is the wireless MAN. A MAN spans entire cities with the use of mixed wireless technologies. Even though 802.11 was not originally intended to cover such an area some cities have deployed such networks. A lot of times the network is paired with cellular service to achieve the coverage
The largest of the networks is the wireless WAN. A WAN can cover an entire country. The best known WAN is the internet. These networks are usually cellular based but can be accomplished using wireless bridges. Due to the range, these networks are considerably slower than a LAN but as technologies progress so will; the data rates.