A wide area network (WAN) is a large computer network that connects groups of computers over long distances. WANs are often used by large enterprises to connect office networks. Each office typically has its local area network (LAN) connected over a WAN.
These long connections can be created using a variety of methods, including leased lines, VPNs, and IP tunnels. The definitions of what a WAN vary greatly. WANs are technically all large networks that span large geographical areas. The internet itself is regarded as a WAN.
A local area network (LAN) is a network that is confined to a small localized area. Common examples of LANs are home WiFi networks and small business networks. Anyone who manages a LAN typically also manages network devices that connect to the LAN. For example, a small business manages routers and switches involved in setting up a LAN.
WAN and LAN
LANs are usually located in closed areas and usually share a single center point of internet connection. The WAN is designed to provide long-distance network connectivity. They usually consist of several connected LANs. A WAN typically contains multiple routers and switches. A LAN only needs a router to connect to the Internet or other LANs, but you can also use a switch.
Wide Coverage: If your offices are located in different cities or countries, you can connect the branch offices of the office via a WAN. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) can provide dedicated lines to connect the various points.
Centralized Data: Businesses don’t need to buy email, file, and backup servers. All of this is possible at your headquarters. All branches can communicate via the main server. You can get backups, support, and other useful data from your head office, and all your data is synchronized with all other branches.
Updated files: Updated files and data are sent by the software company via a live server. Then all programmers and collaborators get an updated version of the file in seconds.
Wide Bandwidth: If your company leases a line, it offers higher bandwidth than a regular broadband connection. Get high data transfer rates that can improve your company’s productivity.
Problems with security: When compared to LAN, WAN has more security issues. WANs combine many technologies, which can cause security gaps.
It is necessary to install a firewall and antivirus software: A firewall must be enabled on the computer because hackers can access and change data transferred over the internet. Because some people can inject viruses into computers, antivirus software must be installed. Other security software must also be installed on various WAN points.
The initial investment is substantial: Setting up a WAN for the first time in the office is more expensive. It could entail purchasing routers, switches, and additional security software.
Troubleshooting issues: Because WAN covers a wide range of areas, resolving the issue in one location is difficult.
WANs are gaining traction because of their capabilities for remote work connections, their flexibility, and the ease of upgrading to the latest technologies.
Explore the WAN technology option with Telnet Nigeria Limited.
Sources: Cisco.com, Cloudflare.com, Technopedia.com