– Personal area network or PAN is a computer network used for communicating from one computer device to another and includes PDAs (personal digital assistants) and telephones.
– PAN has been named so because it is used for interpersonal communication i.e., for communication among personal devices.
– The network can even be used for making connections of higher level network called an up-link and internet.
– When the connection is established through wireless technologies, it is termed as wireless personal area network or WPAN.
– Here the communication info or data is carried over wireless technologies such as:
3. Z- wave
4. Wireless USB
– In some cases, data might also be carried over a body area network.
– The range of a wireless PAN varies from a few centimeters to few meters.
– A PAN can also be established over wired communication technologies such as fire-wire and computer buses like USB.
– A WPAN interconnects the devices that are centered on or around the work space or immediate vicinity of an individual.
– It connects those devices that are wireless.
– The standard used by WPAN is IEEE 802.15. 2 main wireless technologies used by WPAN are:
1. Bluetooth and
2. Infrared data association
– Almost all ordinary communicating devices can be interconnected using WPAN.
– Devices that work over a PAN are the ones that people use daily and carry with them.
– In some cases, PAN serves a more critical and special purpose i.e., it allows surgeons to communicate while performing an operation.
-‘Plugging in’ is the key concept behind the WPAN technology.
The concept can be explained as follows: When two devices equipped with WPAN technology come in to the proximity of each other, they can communicate as they would have done via cables.
– Each device has the ability to lock out other devices to which connection is not required which is another characteristic feature of the personal area network.
– This characteristic is required to prevent unnecessary interference and for blocking unauthorized access.
– The technology behind WPAN is still under development.
– The operational mode for the frequencies is around 2.4 GHz. For a device to be able to connect to other device in the same WPAN it is require that they lie in physical ranges of each other.
– Short range radio waves are used by Bluetooth that can cover up a distance up to 10m approx.
– A PAN as a resultant of Bluetooth operation is termed as piconet and may have at the most 8 devices forming a master–slave relationship.
– The slaves are the devices that communicate with the master.
– Contrary to the typical range of 10m, communication can be established up to a range of 100m under ideal conditions.
– IrDA, as the names suggests makes use of infrared light.
– This light possesses a frequency to which the human eye is not sensitive.
– This technology is particularly used in remote controls.
– Other devices that make use of IrDA WPAN network are keyboards, printers, serial data interfaces and so on.
– WiFi is another WPAN technology that uses radio waves and provides coverage of up to 91m.
– Local area networks can be connected through Wifi.
– Even cell phones can be connected to internet through Wifi and one can download many types of files.
– Video game consoles such as Nintendo Wifi connection use this technology for connecting to the local area networks.
– Body area networks are defined by IEEE 802.15.6 standard and are used for near field communication of the devices that are either present around the devices or worn by a human.
– Skinplex is such a device and can establish communications up to a range of 1m.
– This technology is used in convertible car roofs and access controllers for door locks.