MAN Network – Advantages and Disadvantages

MAN Network – Advantages and Disadvantages

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Anshuman Singh
Senior Executive - Content
Updated on Feb 21, 2024 15:18 IST

Computer networks have evolved significantly over time. Numerous networks available today cater to the specific needs of millions of different users. But what exactly is a network, you may be wondering?


So, in essence, a network is a collection of interconnected nodes that allow different computers or devices to connect and interact with one another through any medium. The three primary types of networks are LAN, MAN, and WAN. There are also various other types of computer networks, such as:


However, in this blog will cover one of these types of network: Metropolitan Area Network (MAN network). So, what is Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)? Before answering this question, let’s first go over the topics that we will be covering in this blog:

What is MAN network?  

The MAN full form, which stands for Metropolitan Area Network, is a computer network that connects computers in a metropolitan area, such as a large city or a university.

A Metropolitan Area Network is formed by connecting multiple LANs; thus, it covers a larger geographical area than a LAN. A Metropolitan Area Network is more extensive than a LAN network but smaller than a wide-area network (WAN). As the data does not have to travel long distances, MANs are usually more efficient than WANs. Here’s a MAN network diagram:


Metropolitan Area Networks provide high-speed data networks for cities and towns while also providing the necessary capacity at a cheaper rate, with greater efficiency than obtaining an equivalent service from a local phone company. A MAN’s operating mechanism is similar to that of an Internet Service Provider (ISP), but a single organization does not own a MAN network. A MAN, like a WAN, provides its users with shared network connections.

You can also explore: What Is WAN and How Does It Function?

Metropolitan Area Network example 

There are various examples of a MAN network that we can observe daily. Some of those are:

  • Cable TV network
  • Telephone networks
  • DSL line
  • The IUB network
  • IEEE 802.16
  • WiMAX

How does the MAN network work? 

MAN’s primary goal is to establish a communication link between two independent LAN nodes in order to connect geographically dispersed LANs. To accomplish this, the Metropolitan Area Network typically uses optical fiber as a transmission medium, and the network is built with the help of routers and switches.

A switch is a port active in the filtration of data, generally coming in the form of frames. A switch can also function as a dual-port device, with one end handling data filtration and the other managing connections. In contrast, a router assists data packets in determining the best path to take and forwarding data packets to their intended IP addresses.

You can also explore: What is LAN (Local Area Network)?

What are the real-life applications of the MAN network?

As Metropolitan Area Network covers an area of 50 kilometers in diameter, it can positively help people. Some real-world applications of the Metropolitan Area Network include:

  • Campus networks at universities
  • Groundwater mapping, urban analysis, and so on.
  • In public places such as libraries, hospitals, airports, etc.
  • Connecting private establishments such as schools, shopping malls, and others.

What are the characteristics of MAN network? 

Metropolitan Area Network have numerous distinguishing characteristics. Among these characteristics are:

  • Metropolitan Area Network are local area network (LAN) interconnections.
  • A Metropolitan Area Network can range in size from 5 to 50 km.
  • Data rates range from moderate to high.
  • A single organization does not own a Metropolitan Area Network. It is owned by either a user group or a network provider who sells services to users.
  • Metropolitan Area Network allows for the sharing of regional resources.
  • Metropolitan Area Network provide uplinks from LANs to WANs and the Internet.
  • The Metropolitan Area Network ensures the transmission of high-quality voice, data, and video.

You can also explore: What is the Difference Between LAN and WAN?

Advantages of MAN network 

Some of the advantages of a Metropolitan Area Network are:

  • It can send data in both directions at the same time.
  • Metropolitan Area Network allows people to connect LANs.
  • It is more comprehensive than a LAN and offers greater security than a WAN.
  • Metropolitan Area Network usually encompasses several city blocks or an entire city.
  • It improves data handling efficiency while increasing data transfer speed.
  • It facilitates the cost-effective sharing of shared resources such as printers.
  • It provides an excellent backbone for a vast network, thus increasing WAN access.
  • The implementation cost of a Metropolitan Area Network are lower than WAN since it requires fewer resources.

Disadvantages of MAN network

Some of the disadvantages of a Metropolitan Area Network are:

  • The data rate is slow in a Metropolitan Area Network compared to LAN.
  • Compared to LAN, more cable is required to set up a Metropolitan Area Network.
  • Because this network comprises multiple LANs, it is difficult to keep hackers out.
  • These networks must be implemented by skilled technicians and network administrators.
  • This network’s implementation and management costs are higher than those of a local area network.
  • It is challenging to manage this network because it’s an extensive network of numerous local area networks.
  • As skilled technicians and network administrators are needed to implement this network, the overall installation and management costs rise.

You can also explore: What is a Wireless Networking?


A Metropolitan Area Network, is an extensive computer network that connects multiple cities or campuses. Its geographical coverage falls somewhere between a WAN and a LAN. Metropolitan Area Networks connect LANs in a metropolitan region to broader area networks such as the Internet and provide Internet connectivity for LANs.


In a MAN network, which topology is used?

In a MAN network, the Dual Queue Dual Bus topology is used. It operates two unidirectional buses that transfer traffic independently of one another. Thanks to this topology, the MAN network can send data in both directions simultaneously.

Where might a MAN network be functional?

A metropolitan area network (MAN) can be functional in multiple cities, towns, or any large area with multiple buildings.

What is the main function of a MAN network?

MANs are used to build high-speed data networks for cities and towns, and their primary function is to connect two or more LAN networks.

What is the MAN network's range?

A MAN network's range is between 5 to 50 kilometers.

Is MAN quicker than LAN?

No, the MAN network does not outperform the LAN network in terms of speed.u00a0The fastest network is the LAN network, which is used in small areas such as offices where cables are short and thus faster speeds.

How fast is the MAN network?

The MAN network is a high-speed, packet-switched communication network with speeds ranging from 34 Mbps to 140 Mbps.

What is MAN?

MAN, or Metropolitan Area Network, is a computer network that connects computers in a metropolitan area, such as a large city or a university.

About the Author
Anshuman Singh
Senior Executive - Content

Anshuman Singh is an accomplished content writer with over three years of experience specializing in cybersecurity, cloud computing, networking, and software testing. Known for his clear, concise, and informative wr... Read Full Bio