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|"Computer network types
by spatial scope
Unlike "local area networks (LANs), where the devices are in the same network segment and share the same "broadcast domain, the devices in a NAN can belong to different proprietary network infrastructures (for example, different mobile carriers). If two devices are geographically close, the communication path between them might, in fact, traverse a long distance, going from a LAN, through the "Internet, and to another LAN.["citation needed]
The "Internet consists of different types of communication networks. Common types include "local area networks (LAN), "metropolitan area networks (MAN), and "wide area networks (WAN). Local area networks have the coverage of a small geographic area, such as a school, residence, building, or company. Metropolitan area networks cover a larger area, such as a city or state. Wide area networks provide communication in a broad geographic area covering national and international locations. "Personal area networks (PANs) are wireless LANs with a very short range (up to a few meters), enabling computer devices (such as PDAs and printers) to communicate with other nearby devices and computers.
Due to the increasing popularity of location-enabled (or "GPS-enabled) mobile devices (including "iPhone and "Android phones), the near-me area network (NAN) is currently being used as a means of wireless communication for areas which do not require the full coverage of a local area network.["further explanation needed]
Some services are meaningful only to a group of people in close proximity, which has generated the need for NANs. The following scenarios show some example NAN applications: