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What is WAN ?

What is WAN ?

‘WAN’ or Wide Area Network is a vast geographic telecommunications network that links several smaller networks, such as local area networks (LANs) and other WANs. Businesses, governments, and organisations frequently employ wide area networks (WANs), which can be privately owned or administered by a third party, to enable communication and data exchange across their locations. The internet can be thought of as the world’s largest wide area network (WAN), which links computers and networks all over the world.

WAN components include:

  1. Geographic Coverage: Wide Area Networks (WANs) cover large regions, countries, or the world. Cities, states, nations, or continents may be included.
  2. Different Network Elements: Satellites, fibre optics, cables, and microwave links are networking technologies that can make up WANs. Long-distance data transmission is made possible by these technologies.

WAN characteristics include:

  1. Wide Coverage region: WANs cover greater distances than Local Area Networks (LANs), which are limited to a specific region such as a campus or building.
  2. Types of wide area networks (WANs): WANs can be public and private. Like the internet, public WANs are open to all users. Organizations own or manage private wide area networks (WANs) for internal usage.
  3. Reliability: To maintain reliability, WANs frequently use redundancy and failover techniques. Backup systems and redundant connections are aided by maintaining network connectivity, mainly when spanning large distances.
  4. Lower Speed and Higher Latency: WANs transport data over longer distances than LANs, so they often have lower speeds and higher latency.

Technologies Used in WANs:

  1. Circuit-Switched Networks: Usually utilized for voice communications, circuit-switched networks create a unique communication channel between two locations used exclusively during a conversation.
  2. Packet-Switched Networks: These networks divide data into smaller packets, which are sent over the network separately. One example of a packet-switched network is the internet.
  3. Point-to-Point Connection: This establishes a dedicated link between two places by connecting two nodes, such as leased lines.
  4. Frame relay and ATM: These technologies were widely used for wide area networks (WANs) due to their dependable and effective data transfer.
  5. MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching): MPLS enables the creation of private networks over a service provider’s infrastructure and is frequently utilized by corporations to connect several locations.

WAN applications: 

  1. Business Connectivity: Organizations employ wide area networks (WANs) to link their offices in disparate locations, facilitating accessible communication and data exchange.
  2. Internet connectivity: The internet is the largest wide area network (WAN), with computers and networks connected worldwide.
  3. Telecommunication Networks: Phone conversations, video conferences, and other services are made possible by WANs, which are the foundation of the industry.
  4. Cloud Services: Users can access data and services remotely thanks to WANs’ support for cloud-based storage and apps.

WANs are essential for establishing long-distance connections between devices and networks, facilitating global communication, data exchange, and resource access.