Wide Area Network (WAN)

A wide area network (WAN) is a computer network that covers a large geographical area comprising a region, a country, a continent or even the whole world. WAN includes the technologies to transmit data, image, audio and video information over long distances and among different LANs and MANs.

The distinguishing features of WAN are

  • WANs have a large capacity, connecting a large number of computers over a large area, and are inherently scalable.

  • They facilitate the sharing of regional resources.

  • They provide uplinks for connecting LANs and MANs to the Internet.

  • Communication links are provided by public carriers like telephone networks, network providers, cable systems, satellites etc.

  • Typically, they have low data transfer rate and high propagation delay, i.e.they have low communication speed.

  • They generally have a higher bit error rate.  

Example of WAN

  • The Internet

  • 4G Mobile Broadband Systems

  • A network of bank cash dispensers.