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Difference between LAN and WAN

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Prerequisite – Types of area networks – LAN, MAN, and WAN

 Local Area Network (LAN): LAN is a group of network devices that allow communication between connected devices. The private ownership has the control over the local area network rather than the public. LAN has a short propagation delay than MAN as well as WAN. It covers the smallest area such as College, School Hospital and so on. 

Wide Area Network (WAN): WAN covers a large area than LAN as well as MAN such as Country/Continent etc. WAN is expensive and should or might not be owned by one organization. PSTN or Satellite medium is used for wide area networks. 
Let’s see the difference between LAN and WAN:

1.LAN stands for Local Area Network.Whereas WAN stands for Wide Area Network.
2.LAN’s ownership is private.But WAN’s ownership can be private or public.
3.The speed of LAN is high(more than WAN).While the speed of WAN is slower than LAN.
4.The propagation delay is short in LAN.Whereas the propagation delay in WAN is long(longer than LAN).
5.There is less congestion in LAN(local area network).While there is more congestion in WAN(Wide Area Network).
6.There is more fault tolerance in LAN.While there is less fault tolerance in WAN.
7.LAN’s design and maintenance is easy.While it’s design and maintenance is difficult than WAN.
8.LAN covers small area i.e. within the building.While WAN covers large geographical area.
9.LAN operates on the principle of broadcasting.While WAN works on the principle of point to point.
10.Transmission medium used in LAN is co-axial or UTP cable.Whereas WAN uses PSTN or satellite link as a transmission or communication medium.
11.LAN has a higher data transfer rate.WAN has a lower data transfer rate as compared to LAN.
12.LANs technologies used like ethernet and token. WANs technologies used like Frame Relay and X.25 for connectivity for longer distances.
13.LANs technologies is data transfer rate is 10mbps.WANs technologies data transfer rate 150mbps
14.LANs is cheaply compared to WANWAN is costly compared to LAN.
15.In LAN Co-axial cables are generally used to connect the computer and other devices.In WAN links are established using microwave or satellite.
16.Due to short distance short circuit error or other noise error are minimum.In this network, shortcircuit errors, noise errors are higher than any other network.
17.For eg: A computer lab in a college.For eg: pager
Last Updated : 10 Mar, 2023
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