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2. PAN - Personal Area Network

A PAN is the smallest type of network that we will encounter. It consists of connected devices that are in close proximity to an individual, usually within a few meters. In order to be classified as a PAN, these devices must be able to communicate with one another.

The main technology used in a PAN is Bluetooth. Bluetooth was designed specifically to handle these kinds of in-close connections, but its range is very limited.

Example: Wearable computers

Wearing devices to monitor personal performance is now quite popular. For example joggers wear devices that measure heartbeat, distance, speed and so on. This data is sent in real-time to an app on their smart-phone (which they are also carrying) for analysis and storage.

The smart-phone app may also make a network connection to a cloud service so that data can be stored and/or accessed via other devices.

Example: Smart-phone to Car connection

Modern cars have comprehensive entertainment, Internet and phone connectivity. You 'pair' the smart-phone to the car, again using bluetooth.

This allows music from the phone to play over the car system, as well as hands-free calls, texts and even emails.


Characteristics of a PAN

  • All devices are very close to one another (a few metres)
  • Bluetooth tends to be the network technology

Challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you

Click on this link: What is a PAN network