Wide Area Network, commonly known as WAN is a computer network that extends over a relatively large geographical area. The locations they connect could be a few miles apart or halfway around the globe.

The largest WAN in existence is the Internet. A WAN functions like a Local Area Network (LAN), but on a larger scale.

Computers connected to a wide-area network establish connection mainly through public networks, such as the telephone system. They can also use leased telecommunication lines or satellites. Frame Relay, X.25, etc. are some of the common WAN protocols.

The entire objective of a WAN is always intended to allow various smaller networks from several locations to communicate with one another.

Let’s explore WANs more in-depth, understanding how they work, their benefits and limitations. We will also discuss the different WAN technologies.

What is a Wide Area Network?

As the name implies, Wide Area Network (WAN) spans a large-scale geographical area such as across cities, states, or countries. They can be a private network, or they can be more public to join smaller networks.

The simplest way to interpret what a WAN is to see the internet as a whole, which is the world’s largest WAN.

The internet is a WAN as it connects several small-scale local area networks (LANs) or Metropolitan area networks (MANs).

Generally, TCP/IP is the protocol used for a WAN. The data transmission takes place with the utilization of hubs, switches, fiber optics, modem, and routers.

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