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WAN Full Form

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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.


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.

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.
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Last Updated : 30 Apr, 2020
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