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WAN Full Form

Last Updated : 26 Jul, 2023
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A WAN (Wide Area Network) is to connect multiple smaller Local Area Networks (LANs). It is a computer network designed. WANs can help in communication, the sharing of information, and much more between systems or devices from around the world through a WAN provider.

What is a WAN?

WAN stands for Wide Area Network. It is a computer network that covers a large geographical area consisting of two or more LANs or MANs. These networks are established with leased telecommunication circuits, in which two sides which are connected have routers that connect the LAN of both sides together in a network to facilitate communication.


WAN Full Form

History of WAN

The roots of WAN are connected to the U.S Department of defense which developed ARPANET to let researchers communicate and share computer resources remotely. The connection can be circuit-switched telephone lines, radio wave transmission or optical fiber transmission. It is used to exchange data with users all over the world, they can be client, employee, buyer, seller, student, etc. WAN has the ability to transmit data, image, audio data, video data over large distances.

What is a WAN Router?

An organisation can access a carrier network by using a WAN router, sometimes referred to as an edge router or border router, which routes data packets between WAN locations. Packet over SONET/SDH (PoS), Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), ATM, and Frame Relay are many WAN protocol were developed.


WAN Network

What is Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN)?

  • It is a technique for making WAN architectures easier to construct, run, and administer is software-defined WAN (SD-WAN). It relies on virtualization, overlay networks, application-level policies and onsite SD-WAN devices and software platforms.
  • SD-WAN improves the efficiency of data transfer across a WAN by shifting traffic to less expensive network links to replace more expensive leased or MPLS lines.

Types of WAN Technologies

There are mainly two technologies that are used in the WAN network design.

  • Circuit switching: Circuit switched networks operate on the virtual connection principle, which dictates that all messages will take the same way and that resources along this path are set aside for this connection.
  • Packet Switching: The size of a packet in a packet switched network is dictated by the outgoing link, and these packets may follow different route. These packets are ready to collected and reassembled at the destination.
  • TCP/IP protocol suite: TCP/IP is a protocol suite of foundational of the internet protocols used to interconnect devices on Internet and other computers networks or device network. Full form of TCP/IP is Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol.
  • Router: A router is a networking device which transfers data packets between device networks and also we can say it is used to interconnect LANs to form a wide area network (WAN).
  • Packet over SONET/SDH (PoS): Packet over SONET and SDH is a communication protocol used for WAN transport. When using optical fiber and SONET or SDH communication protocol used to defines how point-to-point links communicate.
  • Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS): Multi Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) is an IP packet routing technique and also a network routing optimization technique that routes IP packet through paths via labels instead of looking at complex routing tables of routers.

Characteristics of WAN

  • Broader Reach: The reach of WAN in terms coverage of geographical area is very high which can be a region, country or the world itself.
  • Higher Capacity: The capacity of WAN in terms of number of LANs or WANs connected in a network is very high, which results in connection of large number of user over different location all around the globe.
  • Use of Public Carrier: WAN uses telephone network, cabled system, satellites etc for connection and transmission purpose which are easily available.
  • Resource Sharing: WAN enables its users to share data and information over large area. Computer resources can be accessed remotely which makes transmission and exchange of data very easy.

Advantages of WAN

  • It covers large geographical area which enhances the reach of organisation to transmit data quickly and cheaply.
  • The data can be stored in centralised manner because of remote access to data provided by WAN.
  • The travel charges that are needed to cover the geographical area of work can be minimised.
  • WAN enables a user or organisation to connect with the world very easily and allows to exchange data and do business at global level.

Disadvantages of WAN

  • Traffic congestion in Wide Area Network is very high.
  • The fault tolerance ability of WAN is very less.
  • Noise and error are present in large amount due to multiple connection point.
  • The data transfer rate is slow in comparison to LAN because of large distances and high number of connected system within the network.

FAQs On WAN(Wide Area Network)

Q.1: What is WAN-as-a-service?


One type of cloud-based WAN model is WAN-as-a-service. WAN-as-a-service options are intended to take the place of legacy WAN arrangements, which are hard to scale up, rely on hardware, and require communication protocols like multiprotocol label switching (MPLS). Due to WAN-as-a-Service being provided via the cloud, only customers need Internet connectivity and using software, configure their WAN.

Q.2: What are the classification of WAN?


There are 5 types of WAN classifications as shown below.

Q.3: What is a leased line?


Leased lines is one method by which organizations link their LANs to create a WAN. An ISP or other major network provider will rent you a leased line, which is a direct large network connection. For most organisations, it would be nearly impossible to build their own physical network infrastructure, which would include cables, routers, and Internet exchange points spread across hundreds or thousands of kilometres. Instead, they contract with a business that already owns this infrastructure to lease a direct, dedicated connection.

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