WAN stands for wide area network that exists over a large geographic area. It is a geographically distributed private telecommunications network that connects multiple local area networks (LANs). It’s spread over a large geographical area, for example, between cities, states, or countries. The WAN connects various small systems, including local area networks (LANs) and metro networks (MANs). This connectivity between WAN, LAN and MAN ensure that computers and users in one location can communicate with computers and users in other sites. They may be private to connect parts of the business, or they may be more public for connecting small networks.
Typically, a router or other multifunction device is used to connect a local area network to a wide area network. Corporate WANs allows users to share access to applications, services, and other centrally located resources. The WAN implementation can be done using a publicly available transmission system or a private network. The easiest way to understand what a global network is, is the Internet, the largest global network in the world. The Internet is a global network as it connects many small local area networks (LANs) or metropolitan areas (MANHs) with the help of Internet providers.
Wide Area Network Definition
WANs are not limited to the same geographic location as LANs. A local network can be established in any geographic areas and can connect to a global network – this means that the global system is not limited to a specific location. WANs have been around for decades, but new technologies, services and applications have evolved over the years to improve the performance of their businesses. Initially, WANs design for digitally leased line services that transmit only voice, not data.
A WAN connects more than one local area network and used for large geographic areas. WAN networks are similar to the banking system, where hundreds of branches in different cities are connected to exchange official data. On a small scale, the business may have a global network of cloud services, its headquarters and small branches. In this case, WAN will be used to connect all these business classes. Learn more about Business Network Security here.
A virtual private network (VPN) provides connectivity and security between WAN sites. Different VPNs can use for different use cases. For example, they linked private branch offices (PBX) to remote offices. Peoples still using WANs for voice services, but today they are more often used for data and image transmission (e.g., video conferencing). These added applications lead to a significant increase in WAN usage, mainly due to the rise in the number of LAN connections on the broader network.
Types of WAN Connections
WAN Connection are two types –
- Dedicated Connection
- Switched Connection
Now the “Dedicated Connection” is dividing into three subtypes –
- Leased Line
- Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
- Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
On the other hand, “Switched Connection” is also dividing into three subtypes
- Circuit Switched Network
- Packet Switched Network
- Cell Switched Network
HOW Wide Area Networks (WANs) WORK
WANs are may point-to-point, involving a direct connection between two nodes, or may operate on packet-switched networks. Then the packet-switched data is transmitted in packets over shared channels. A point-to-point WAN service may include either analogue dial-up lines in which a modem is used to connect computers to a telephone line, or dedicated digital telephone lines as separate lines. Analogue lines, which can either be part of a public switched telephone network, or leased paths, are suitable for packet data transmission, such as non-agent orders and transaction transactions at points of sale. Dedicated digital telephone lines provide seamless and secure data transmission at a fixed price.
WAN point-to-point service providers are both local telephone companies and long-distance telecom operators. Packet-switched network services are typically chosen by organisations that have small amounts of data or multiple sites, for which multiple leased lines would be costly.
Depending on the service, extensive area networks can use for almost any data sharing the purpose for which local area networks can handle. However, low transfer rates for extensive area networks may make some applications less practical. The primary use of extensive area networks is for email and file transfer. However, WANs may allow users at remote sites to access and enter data in a central site database, such as updating accounts immediately. New types of network software that make it easy to track productivity and production, like groupware and workflow automation software, can also be used on extensive area networks. Using group software, workers from different locations can more easily collaborate on projects. WANs also provide remote offices with access to other central office data services, including the Internet.