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Difference between LAN and WAN

  • Difficulty Level : Basic
  • Last Updated : 07 Jul, 2020

Prerequisite – Types of area networks – LAN, MAN and WAN
Local Area Network (LAN):
LAN is a group of network devices which allow the communication between connected devices. The private ownership has the control over the local area network rather than public. LAN has 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 the 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 are used for wide area network.

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 LAN.
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.
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