Networking Fundamentals: Personal Area Network (PAN)

It is a network that allows people to communicate and interact with each other through their devices sitting at the comfort of their space. In order to connect and start communication between hundreds and thousands of people; it is networking that plays a pivotal role. But there isn’t just a single network doing all the work.

There are many different types of network, each of which having a role of their own with unique characteristics and formation. One of the networks that work best for individuals is a Personal Area network, which we will understand in detail below:

Knowing Personal Area Network - PAN

Personal Area Network is abbreviated to PAN. PAN refers to a network where the connection is done between devices within the range of 10 meters. This kind of connection can be achieved either with wires or with wireless connections. The Wireless Personal Area Network is referred to as WPAN which is a network covering the smallest of geographical area, catering to the needs of a single user. A PAN network includes one or few more computers, peripheral devices, telephones, video game consoles and other entertainment devices.

However, if multiple users are connecting their devices within the same residence, this kind of network is more likely to be referred as Home Area Network or HAN rather than PAN. In this network, the connection is provided by a wired connection to a modem which is further connected by either wire or wire to multiple devices.

Both HAN and PAN are controlled from one computer but can be accessed from all devices in the network. PAN can be very helpful in offices and small network areas due to its flexibility and efficiency. It has similar job as the other networks available, but it is still classified as separate class because it sends information to nearby devices instead of sending that same data through a LAN or WAN or any other network before it reaches something that’s already within reach.

What is Wireless Personal Area Network – WPAN?

Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN) can perform extremely productive activities if we interface them with devices. Wireless Personal Area Network depends on attachment amongst multiple devices. At the point where remote devices meet one another inside the scope of couple of meters a WPAN offers a smooth and hassle-free connection. The advancement and improvement in these technologies results in efficient working and operating of user devices. The further improvement helps build up a consistent system among all office and home devices.

Technologies Used to Build a PAN

The PAN network can be either wireless or constructed with cables. The USBs and FireWire are often required for linking together a wired PAN. However, on the other hand, a PAN typically use Bluetooth or at times infrared connections. If considered conceptually, a PAN may consist of small, wearable or embedded devices that communicate upon nearby contact with other wireless devices.

For example:  A chip placed under the skin of any finger of the patient can store all the medical data and connect the patient with the doctor on continuous basis and can be extremely helpful in case of emergencies.

Benefits of PAN

PANs are for individual use, so the advantages may be more effectively comprehended than when discussing wide territory systems like WLAN and MAN.

  • Personal Area Networks that are wireless save users from the hassle of managing wires and cables that often get tangled and take unwanted floor space.
  • Bluetooth PAN makes it easy for users to manage their devices and equipment, allowing them to get faults fixed without any trouble.
  • Easy access and control of wireless devices for improvement in an outcome. For example: a company can send and collect information to their employees using smart devices that are all connected to a single PAN.
  • Easy and efficient data synchronization and communication with Bluetooth enabled devices.
  • Use of exciting new technology is made easy with a wireless PAN connection, serving multiple benefits to organizations.
  • PAN offers cost savings and increased efficiency to its users.
  • Due to its simple structure, it is easier to fix errors and faults in a PAN connection.
  • Bluetooth PANs offers much more security to its users.

Apart from its benefits, there are a few shortcomings for PAN users including the following:

  • PAN utilizes Bluetooth connectivity which is short-range and can only serve a few devices within close proximity.
  • PANs can sometimes interact with other wireless devices using the same bandwidth, resulting in interrupted communication.
  • PANs work slower than other networks due to Bluetooth connections.

Connections made using a PAN

In order to understand how a PAN enables connection between different devices, take a look at the following examples:

Offline Network

A PAN allows connection between multiple devices through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. The devices attached to your computer including printers, televisions, mouse, speakers, and other appliances that do not utilize the Internet are integrated using a PAN. So, when using a PAN, you are able to form a communication route between all the devices used in a single space.

Body Area Network

PANs allow users to form multiple connections using a single device that they have with them. This means that when a person connects their smartphone to a PAN, they can share that connection with more devices that they are using including a Bluetooth speaker, tablet, or just another smartphone.

Home Office

With the help of a PAN, users can set up a separate smaller network for work purposes. This separate network works like a new body with multiple other devices connected to it.

PAN is a type of network that meets the needs of a few people residing within a small distance.  The reason more people are interested in this network is its easy setup and relatively low cost. The technologies used to setup a PAN are less complex, making it easier to fix as well.

The aforementioned information will enable you to get closer to learning all your basics of computer networking. However, if you plan to build a career in this field and become a professional IT and networking guy, you may benefit from enrolling into one of QuickStart’s Cisco Certification Training courses.