Many networks exist in the world, often with different hardware and software. People connected to one network often want to communicate with people attached to a different one. This desire requires connecting together different, and frequently incompatible networks, sometimes by using machines called gateways to make the connection and provide the necessary translation, both in terms of hardware and software. A collection of interconnected networks is called an internetwork or just internet.
An internetwork is formed when distinct networks are connected together. Connecting a LAN and a WAN or connecting two LANs forms an internetwork, but there is little agreement in the industry over terminology in this area.
- Local Area Network