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What Are the Different Types of Computer Networks You Need to Know?

Published: August 8, 2018

Given the major role technology plays in our highly connected lives, it’s no surprise that information technology (IT) is among the world’s fastest growing industries. If you have an interest in working with computers, your passion could lend itself to a promising IT career. But before you plan your entrance into the IT field, it’s important to understand the basics of computer networking to help you decide if this path is the right one for you.

What Is Information Technology?

Information Technology (IT) is the use of computing, including hardware, software, and telecommunications and everything that is involved in transmitting information or the systems that aid in communication. IT can refer to a department of a company or the management of data.

Computer Network Systems

Because computer networks are important to any job in the IT field, you need to understand the types of computer networking systems that IT specialists use most often. Here are a few of them:

  • Local Area Network (LAN): A computer network that operates in a small confined area such as a home, school, laboratory, office, or group of buildings. Computers within a LAN can share data and devices.
  • Wide Area Network (WAN): A network that exists across a large geographical area and interconnects smaller networks (LANs). Computers in one location in the network can communicate with those in other locations. A common application of a WAN would be for multiple branches across the same company.
  • Campus Area Network (CAN): A network that is smaller than a WAN and includes multiple LANs in close proximity such as on a university campus or across a local business campus.
  • Virtual Private Network (VPN): A private network that is built across a public infrastructure that can be securely accessed from different locations. A VPN is used to allow workers to remotely access the private computer network of their company from their home or another offsite location.

A Bright Future Within Reach

Because IT is a rapidly changing industry, qualified workers are always in demand. And you can get started on an IT career path through IT certificate or degree programs. What’s especially great about IT education is that it often occurs online.

If you’ve always had a knack for technology and want to become a small part of a huge industry, IT might be right for you. Charter College offers certificate and degree programs in Information Technology that you can take online. Fill out the form to learn more now.