What Are the 4 Types of Networking?

Donald Mihalik

November 15, 2022

There are four main types of networking: LAN (local area network), WAN (wide area network), Wireless local area network (WLAN), and Extranet (Internet). LAN networks are commonly used for sharing files, including business documents, in organizations. They are typically connected through routers. LANs are the most common type of computer network today. A major component of a LAN network is a Layer2 Ethernet Switch, which provides communication between devices.


One of the four main types of networking is the local area network (LAN). LANs are used for public internet access. They use a centralized server to receive data packets and respond to requests from client devices for access. This central server makes it easy to transfer data between nodes. LANs also do not have a public internet connection and are used for private data exchange and intranet hosting. The most popular reason for LAN adoption is internet access, but other factors also play a part in adopting this type of networking.

LANs generally consist of a mix of wired and wireless devices. These devices can share files, access printers, and access the Internet. LANs are used in offices, homes, and other places where a single Internet connection is needed. LANs require high-speed connections and cheap hardware.


Wide Area Networks (WANs) connect computers from different locations. They are also used for long-distance communications. The geographic range of a WAN can range from a few hundred to several thousand kilometers. WANs are complex networking with many uses, such as mobile communications.

WANs are used in various settings, from banking to government institutions. They enable organizations to share information with partners and customers. In many cases, they also provide an essential service to the public, like allowing university students to access library databases. WANs are also used by consumers, allowing them to bank and shop.

Different types of WANs use different types of connectivity. Some use virtual private networks (VPNs) to connect locations and devices securely. However, these networks can be vulnerable over the Internet, so some businesses opt for hybrid WANs, combining wireless and wired technologies.

Wireless local area network

A WLAN (wireless local area network) is a network that consists of multiple computers or devices connected through a wireless connection. WLANs can be used in many situations, most commonly in the home and workplace, to replace the cable or wired connections. In addition, WLANs are often used to attract audiences in public places. With the increasing need for connectivity, WLANs are becoming an increasingly common option in many industries and locations.

However, WLAN performance and security are often affected by many factors. This means that it’s important to conduct proper WLAN testing. There are several different kinds of tests that you can perform on WLANs, including signal coverage testing and performance testing. You can also perform vulnerability testing to determine if your WLAN is secure. Another type of testing is known as in-motion testing, which checks WLAN performance and reliability while in motion.

One of the biggest advantages of WLANs is that they can be installed quickly, allowing employees to work anywhere without tying up cables. Additionally, WLANs are cheaper to install than physical cables. In addition, WLANs can accommodate more users without requiring extensive alterations to the network infrastructure. Because WLANs are so easy to install, you can even install them on premises that are difficult to wire. In addition to the benefits of WLANs, they’re easy to upgrade. Compared to Ethernet cables, WLAN upgrades are much easier to implement.


An extranet is an extension of the intranet that provides a secure environment to share information. It allows selected third parties to access a company’s entire network or a portion of it. It uses the same protocols and hardware as the intranet but is separate from it, which helps keep the information shared secure and prevents unauthorized access. It can be used for many different purposes, from allowing employees to collaborate and share information to allowing customers to process invoices and communicate with your team.

An extranet is a private network that the company controls. It allows authorized third parties to access specific information and communication features but not the entire network. It is typically used when multiple stakeholders are involved in an initiative or campaign. It provides a streamlined environment for communication and project tracking. It can also allow different levels of access to different individuals or groups, depending on their roles and responsibilities. It is an ideal solution for sharing information among employees and outside parties.

Extranets can help practitioners share best practices in their field when used in conjunction with intranets. For example, an extranet could be used to share medical materials and documents. An intranet is a website that operates within a company and helps employees communicate with one another. It can also be used for various purposes, including collaboration and employee onboarding.