A metropolitan area network (MAN) is a large computer network that usually spans a city or a large campus. A MAN Network is optimized for a larger geographical area than a LAN, ranging from several blocks of buildings to entire cities.
MAN Networks are formed by connecting multiple LANs. Thus, MAN Networks are larger than LANs but smaller than wide-area networks (WAN).
The purpose of MAN (Metropolitan Area Network) is to provide the link to the internet in the long run. MAN Network provides Internet connectivity for LANs in a metropolitan region, and connect them to wider area networks like the Internet. ” It can also be used in cable television.
The primary use of metropolitan area networks is the customer that has high-capacity needs in a metropolitan area. A MAN is intended to provide the required capacity at a lower cost and greater efficiency than obtaining an equivalent service from the local telephone company
How Does a Metropolitan Area Network Work?
Metropolitan Area Network is larger than LAN and smaller than WAN. It is generally applied to connect geographically dispersed LANs. Therefore the goal of MAN is to develop a communication link between two independent LAN nodes.
A MAN Network is usually established using optical fiber. The network is established using routers and switches. A switch is a port which is active in handling the filtration of data usually coming in the form of frames. Any switch acts as a dual-port, at one end it is handling filtration of data and at the other end managing connections.
The router is another device for facilitating the network connection. A router helps the data packets to identify the path to be taken. Hence, in other words, it keeps an eye on the data transfer. MAN (Metropolitan Area Network) is usually operated over an area of up to 5 to 50kms.
Characteristics of Metropolitan Area Network
- Network size generally ranges from 5 to 50 km. It may be as small as a group of buildings on campus to as large as covering the whole city.
- In general, a MAN is either owned by a user group or by a network provider who sells service to users, rather than a single organization as in LAN.
- Data rates are moderate to high.
- It facilitates the sharing of regional resources.
- They provide uplinks for connecting LANs to WANs and the Internet.