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A metropolitan area network (MAN) is similar to a local area network (LAN) but spans an entire city or campus. MANs are formed by connecting multiple LANs. Thus, MANs are larger than LANs but smaller than wide area networks (WAN).
MANs are extremely efficient and provide fast communication via high-speed carriers, such as fiber optic cables.
A MAN is ideal for many kinds of network users because it is a medium-size network. MANs are used to build networks with high data connection speeds for cities and towns.
The working mechanism of a MAN is similar to an Internet Service Provider (ISP), but a MAN is not owned by a single organization. Like a WAN, a MAN provides shared network connections to its users. A MAN mostly works on the data link layer, which is Layer 2 of the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model.
Distributed Queue Dual Bus (DQDB) is the MAN standard specified by the Institute Of Electrical And Electronics Engineers (IEEE) as IEEE 802.6. Using this standard, a MAN extends up to 30-40 km, or 20-25 miles.