Computer Basics: Data Networks

This video covers the basics of local area networks, wide area networks, and virtual private networks.

In this video we talk about Data Networks.

You've heard of networks, like a water network, road network, cell phone network, or television network.

Today we'll talk about data networks, which are the networks that computers use.

The three types we'll cover are the Local Area Network (LAN), the Wide Area Network (WAN), and the Virtual Private Network (VPN).

A LAN is just a small group of computers that are connected together.

The most important thing about a LAN is that those computers are close together.

So, if you're using WiFi at Starbucks or at your school, you're probably using a LAN that you can only connect to if you are physically close to it.

A WAN (Wide Area Network) is two or more LANs that are connected over long distances.

So, maybe a school in Colorado wants to connect to a school in Missouri.

They could use a WAN.

You might think that these are connected over the internet, and in the case of a VPN (Virtual Private Network, which is basically the same conceptionally as a WAN), you're right.

However, a WAN usually rents a cable from an internet company to create the connection.