Optical Transceiver

LAN vs WAN vs MAN vs VLAN vs VPN

  • December 30. 2019
Today we will introduce the difference between LAN, WAN, MAN, VLAN and VPN. If you are interested in these knowledge, let’s learn about it!

Following table compares LAN, MAN and WAN with respect to various networking parameters.





Full Form

Local Area Network

Metropolitan Area Network

Wide Area Network

What is it?

• Systems are close to each other in LAN 
• contained in one office or building
• one organization can have several LANs

• Large network which connects different organizations

• Two or more LANs connected 
• Located over large geographical area 


Limited coverage, about upto 2 miles(or 2500 meters)

Limited coverage, about upto 100 miles(or 200 km)

Unlimited (usually in 1000Km) range, uses repeater and other connectivity for range extension

Speed of 

High, typically 10, 100 and 1000 Mbps

High, typically 100 Mbps

Slow, about 1.5 Mbps (May vary based on wireless technologies used)

used for medium

Locally installed, twisted pair, fiber optic cable, wireless (e.g. WLAN, Zigbee)

Locally installed and based on common carrier e.g. twisted pair, fiber optic cable etc.

Locally installed and based on common carrier e.g. twisted pair wires, fiber, coaxial cable, wireless including wireless and cellular network based


Used mainly by fixed desktop computers and portable computers (e.g. laptops) . Now-a-days it is used by smart phones due to emergence of WLAN network

Used mainly by desktop and mini computers.

Can be used by any devices, but desktop devices are mainly using this network type.

What is the difference between VLAN and VPN?
VLAN stands for Virtual Local Area Network. It is a set of hosts that communicate with each other as if they were connected to the same switch (as if they were in the same domain), even if they are not.
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It provides a secure method for connecting to a private network through a public network that is not secure, such as the internet from a remote location.
※ VPN allows creating a smaller sub network using the hosts in an underlying larger network and a VLAN can be seen as a sub group of VPN. The main purpose of VPN is to provide a secure method for connecting in a private network, from remote locations.

Hope these information will be helpful for you! http://www.etulinktechnology.com/

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