根據局域網中存在的連接形式的不同，局域網的類型也會有所不同。有助於區分它們的一些更常見的功能特性是其拓撲結構、協議和媒體。例如，基於拓撲結構，我們有環形和直線局域網。在沒有太多故障情況需要解釋的情況下，使用直線LAN。直線LAN可用於較小的覆蓋區域，且負載較少。然而，在那些單個節點故障或網絡停機可能有風險的領域，最好使用環形拓撲，因為這可以確保即使一個節點故障，其他節點也會接管。廣域網的特定功能與LAN非常相似，但是它還有一個額外的優勢，那就是可以通過無線方式將來自多個小地理區域的用戶和端點連接起來。廣域網在廣闊的地理區域內互連局域網，從而覆蓋城市、州甚至大洲。然而，廣域網受到限制，因為它提供了跨局域網的更慢的速度鏈接(Calvert et al.， 1997)。
The types of Local Area Network would differ based on the form of connection that exists in the Local Area Network. Some of the more common functional characteristics that help in their differentiation are that of its topology, its protocols and the media. For instance, based on topology we have ring and straight line LANs. A straight line LAN is being used in such situations where there are not much fail situations to account for. A straight line LAN could be used in smaller coverage areas with not much load. However, in those areas where a single node failure or network downtime could become risky, it is better to use the ring topology as this guarantees that even if one node fails then the other nodes takeover. The specific features of the WAN are quite similar to that of the LAN but has the added advantage of wirelessly interconnecting users and endpoints from more than small geographical areas. WANs interconnect LANs over wide geographical areas and hence provide coverage over cities and states or continents even. However, the WAN is constrained in that it provides much slower speed links across LANs (Calvert et al., 1997).
The use that this network is being put to is that of covering long distance coverage like connecting cross metropolitan regions or across national limits. It is needed for transferring data accurately but at lower speeds such as that of 150 mbps and lower. Now this can be satisfied only by the WAN but not the LAN. The LAN is only for small computer networks, which are geographically constrained and are within a small campus, a University, offices, home etc. It provides rather faster speed such as 1000mbps but is not really suitable for long distance coverage and does not cover geographical distances. The implementation of the WAN is hence required for the purpose. The WAN makes use of leased lines furthermore in order to connect data across countries. The use of LAN in such situations might be possible but it could add a very high security risk as the data transmissions in the LAN over long distances becomes unsafe even when they are encrypted.