Home of RF and Wireless Vendors and Resources

One Stop For Your RF and Wireless Need

LAN vs PAN | Difference between LAN and PAN

This page compares LAN vs PAN and mentions difference between LAN and PAN. LAN stands for Local Area Network. PAN stands for Personal Area Network.

LAN-Local Area Network

lan, wlan

As mentioned LAN is the short form of Local Area Network. It is basically a communication network which interconnects devices such as PCs, Laptops, Smartphones, tablets et. to exchange information. LAN are of two types viz. wired and wireless. In wired LAN, devices are connected using ethernet cables and all are wired onto ethernet Hub or Switch. In wireless LAN, devices are connected using radio frequency waves which are electromagnetic waves. There are different bands of WLAN viz. 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz etc. WLAN have been as IEEE 802.11 family of protocols viz. 11a, 11b, 11g, 11n, 11ac, 11ad etc.

Following are the characteristics of LAN and WLAN:
• scope is usually within single building or between buildings.
• It is designed for high data rate transfer from Mbps to Gbps.
• Recent advances in WLAN technology has pioneered its use to offload the traffic from the heavily loaded cellular networks.

Refer WLAN tutorial➤.

PAN-Personal Area Network

zigbee network

As mentioned PAN is the short form of Personal Area Network. It is a network which connects devices within small range typically on the order of 10 to 100 meters. Device in one PAN network can establish connection with another device in other PAN network when in the range.

All the short range wireless technologies fall under PAN viz. Bluetooth, Zigbee, Zwave, Infrared etc. It is mainly designed and developed for low data rate monitoring and control applications. PAN wireless technologies have become very popular in IoT (Internet of things) networks.

Following are the characeteristics of PAN:
• Short range
• have both star and mesh architecture
• mainly used for low data rate applications in home automation, bluetooth is used for data transfer between devices .
• Widely adopted in IoT (Internet of Things)

Refer Zigbee tutorial➤, Bluetooth tutorial➤ and Bluetooth Low Energy tutorial➤.

Following table compares LAN and PAN with respect to many useful system parameters. It also provides links to various wireless LAN and wireless PAN technologies.


Parameters LAN PAN
full form Local Area Network Personal Area Network
Distance coverage 10m to 100m and even more in wireless LAN case 10m to 100m in wireless PAN network (i.e. zigbee, bluetooth)
Data rate LAN supports 10, 100 and 1000 Mbps while WLAN supports 54Mbps(as per 802.11a) and above 100Mbps (802.11n/11ac/11ad) 250Kbps in zigbee, From Kbps to 24 Mbps in bluetooth case
Technologies Wireless LAN or WLAN as per IEEE 802.11 standards Zigbee, Bluetooth, zwave etc.
Applications Mainly used for wireless LAN and LAN where in data transfer at high speed is desired. Used for low data rate and short distance applications

Networking Links

• Circuit Switching vs Packet switching   • Packet Switching vs Message switching   • What is an IP address   • What is MAC Address   • Basics of OSI and TCP-IP Layers   • What is Hub   • What is Switch   • What is Bridge   • What is Router   • What is Gateway   • Firewall basics   • TCP-IP Packet format   • ARP Protocol format  

What is Difference between

FTP vs HTTP  FTP vs SMTP  FTP vs TFTP  hub Vs. switch  TCP vs UDP 

RF and Wireless Terminologies


Share this page

Translate this page