Generally, CAN stands for Campus Area Network, which describes a network that interconnects in a limited geographical region, say an educational campus, organization campus, or military base. A perfect example of CAN is in a university, where the network interconnects the administration block, academic buildings, library, and other buildings in the institution. Simply put, the CAN definition is quite similar to the Metropolitan Area Network with specific settings of a small area.
That said, the Campus Area Network definition makes it larger than local area networks but smaller than wide-area networks. Organizations or institutions that own the campus typically also own and operate Campus Area Networking equipment and infrastructure. Most CANs comprise several LANs connected through routers and switches joined together to form a single network.
Nonetheless, they operate just like LANs, in that users who access the network wirelessly or wired can communicate with other systems in the network directly. That said, the campus area network has two main benefits. They are:
Unlike other types of networks, Campus Area Network is maintained and managed by one entity, which in most cases is the campus IT department. Network administrators can easily monitor, regulate, and allow access to the network. The team also installs firewalls between CAN and internet providers to prevent unauthorized access. They may also use proxy servers to limit internet ports or websites that users can access.
As described in the CAN network definition, communication within CAN takes place through a local network. Therefore, data transfer speed within the network is uninterrupted and remains higher than the typical internet speed. With this, users can share large files quickly. For instance, it can take several hours to upload a long video successfully when connected to the internet. However, transferring such videos over CAN takes a few minutes.