In general, an area is a two-dimensional region or surface whose size is defined by its surface area. In the system of units( SI), an area is expressed in square meters. Large areas are expressed in square kilometers, small ones in square centimeters.
In radio technology, when areas are involved, the specifications are usually related to radio coverage or radio cell size. However, the term area is also used in network technology. For example, in connection with network segments, domains and discussion forums.
- The term area is used in connectionless services( CLNS), DECnet and Open Shortest Path First( OSPF) for a logical network segment and includes all facilities connected to this segment. Areas are usually connected to other areas via bridges and routers and form an Autonomous System( AS). There are local areas, areas in metro networks and wide area networks.
- In the NetWare environment, it is a domain of connected Internetwork Packet Exchange Protocol( IPX) networks that all share a common Area address of a NetWare Link Services Protocol( NLSP), NetWare Link Services Protocol.
- In FidoNet, the Area refers to a single discussion forum, comparable to a newsgroup on the Internet.