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April 12, 2017updated 27 Oct 2023 6:43am

What is WAN?

The World Wide Web is an example.

By Alexander Sword

A wide area network, or WAN, is a network that connects computers and resources over a geographical area.

This contrasts with a local area network (LAN), which connects computers which are close to each other: for example, within a single premises. A WAN connects several of these smaller networks into a larger overall network.

In business terms, they are used to relay data across the different branches of an organisation. They can provide the benefits of increased security and customisation.

What is the most common WAN network?

WAN would also allow, for example, an employee to connect remotely to the company’s LAN.

To connect a business in this way, the different LAN connections within individual locations will be connected over a larger internet connection. Installing a WAN for a specific device can be as simple as installing software which allows connection to the network, as long as the infrastructure is already in place.

The world wide web is an example of a pervasive WAN network.

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