What is WAN (Wide Area Network)?

What is WAN (Wide Area Network)?

A WAN network is a network that covers a large geographic area. That’s why it’s called Wide Area Network.

Depending on your needs, it may cover an entire country or even the world. Most WANs use public networks, such as the internet, to connect all those sites together.

We’ve already covered LAN (Local area network) in some detail—they’re local-area networks that are limited to a single building or campus and usually use wired connections instead of radio waves to communicate between devices.

Difference Between WAN and LAN

We’ve discussed the difference between a WAN and LAN, but let’s take a look at how they are different.

As you may have guessed, the main difference is that a WAN is used for long-distance communication, whereas a LAN is used for short-distance communication.

This means that LANs can be found in your home or office building, whereas WANs require technology to connect computers across large distances.

While both types of networks can support high-speed connections depending on their configuration and setup, it’s typically the case that LANs will offer higher bandwidth speeds than WANs because they rely on direct connections between endpoints without having to go through multiple layers of networking equipment (think routers) as part of their process.

This means if you’re looking into applying wireless networking solutions at home or in your business space, such as an office building or retail store where there might be many people connecting simultaneously throughout different areas—a traditional WiFi access point might not be able to handle this type of load!

Purpose of WAN Connections

WAN connections are used to connect computers and networks that are geographically dispersed. WANs connect LANs, MANs, and other local networks.

WAN connections also allow you to access the Internet from your computer or network and share information with other people through e-mail or file-sharing applications.

Types of WAN Connections

The WAN connection is used to transmit data from one network to another. The basic WAN topologies are point-to-point, broadcast multi-point, and multipoint.

WAN protocols are classified into two types:

  1. Connectionless
  2. Connection-oriented

Connectionless protocols use datagrams and routing techniques for connectionless communication; conversely, connection-oriented protocols use virtual circuits for connected communication.

WAN security methods can be divided into encryption and authentication (signature).

Encryption is used to protect data from unauthorized users. In contrast, a signature is used to verify whether an encrypted data packet has been tampered with or not by using digital signatures or message authentication code (MAC).

Advantages of WAN Connection

WAN is a very reliable and cost-effective solution used in many different scenarios. It offers high speed, does not require much maintenance, and can be easily customized to suit your needs.

WAN connection is also secure because it uses private lines not accessible by any other person outside your network or business.

This means there will be no interference with other networks while using it to perform video conferencing activities or send sensitive files across large distances.

Where is WAN Connection Primarily Used?

The following organizations use it:

  • Companies to connect their branches
  • Schools and colleges for seamless connectivity of students and teachers
  • Hospitals for improving patient care with remote monitoring capabilities
  • Government bodies for providing better public services like transportation, health care, etc.


In conclusion, WAN is a vast network that connects multiple LANs and MANs.

It is a network that covers a large geographical area. WAN is used to connect two or more computers located in different geographical areas.

WAN provides high-speed internet connection between distant locations through high-capacity communication lines such as fiber optic cable, satellite link, T1 line, etc.

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