What is WAN (Wide Area Network)?

WAN (Wide Area Network)

Today, most network traffic leaves the LAN and travels across the WAN. A good illustration of the wide area network is the World Wide Web since it connects computers from various corners of the world. So, in this article, I am going to simplify what is WAN(Wide Area Network) and its working.

Definition of WAN:

As we know, LANs are only used for small geographical areas whereas WANs cover a large geographic area. In other words, a network that provides long-distance transmission of data, voice, image, and video information over a large geographical area. Hence, the range of wide area network is beyond 100km.

WAN is different from LAN in several ways like for example, LAN connects computers, peripherals, and other devices in one building or another small geographical area. Whereas, WAN allows data transmission across a wider geographical distance. In addition, a company must subscribe to WAN service with ISP to use WAN network services. So, LAN usually owned by companies or organizations that use them.

Here are the three main features of the WANs:
1. WANs generally connect devices that are separated by a wider geographic area than
It can be served by a LAN.
2. WANs use the services of operators, such as telephone companies, cable companies, satellite systems, and network providers.
3. WANs use serial connections of various types to provide access to bandwidth through

Therefore, technologies used in the Wide Area Network listed below

  1. ISDN(Integrated Service Digital Network)
  2. SMDS(Switched Multimegabit Data Service)
  3. SONET(Synchronous Optical Network)
  4. HDLC(High Data Link Control)
  5. SDLC(Synchronous Data Link Control)
WAN technologies

Types of WAN connections:

They are categorized into three types:

  1. Dedicated leased line
  2. Circuit-switched connection
  3. Packet-switched connection

Dedicated leased line:

Dedicated leased line

A logical connection that connects two sites through the service provider facilities or telephone company headquarters. More expensive than other WAN technologies because customers do not share bandwidth with other customers. This provides very high-speed data transmission up to 64Gbps.

Circuit-switched connection:

Circuit Swithed Connection

In a network switch circuit every time before transferring data through a WAN, a new connection can form after data transfer through the connection is closed. In this technique, data is generally transferred via a single connection or a single route. On-demand bandwidth can provide cost savings to customers who only need periodic connectivity to a remote site. Therefore, the Integrated Services Digital Network(ISDN) can operate as a Circuit-Switched Connection, bringing up the Virtual Connection(VC) on demand.

Packet-switched connection:

Packet-Switeched connection

Like dedicated leased lines, packet switching networks are always active. However, many clients share bandwidth. This virtual circuit can represent as a dashed line. Service level agreements (SLA) can guarantee certain quality clients, such as 5mbps at least 80% of the time.

Advantages of WAN:

  1. Unlimited expansion is possible
  2. Covers large geographical area or region
  3. Eliminates the need for ISDN
  4. It increases the bandwidth
  5. Centralizes IT infrastructure

Limitations of WAN:

  1. Complex to implement
  2. Security and reliability is low
  3. High implementation cost
  4. Complex administration
  5. Leased Line-expensive
  6. Packet Switch-Shared media across the link
  7. Circuit Switch-Call Setup

Therefore, from this article, you have learned what is the Wide Area Network and its technologies and connections. If you have any queries please mention in the comment section below.

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