What is the difference between CAN and WAN?

Computer NetworkInternetMCA

Let us understand what campus area network (CAN) is.


CAN stands for campus area network. It is a network of several interconnected local area networks (LAN) in a limited geographical location. It is smaller than a wide area network (WAN) or metropolitan area network (MAN).

In this type of networking, similar technology along with the hardware is used in multiple buildings of one campus or one corporation. They follow similar terminologies like the local area networks but the difference is that they are interconnected among the various buildings at the specific location.

Campus Area Networks (CAN) are economical, useful, and simple to implement in the specific kilometres of the locality. It is very useful for universities and other corporate organizations to operate from any block and receive a similar speed of data transfer.


WAN stands for wide area network. It is a connection of multiple computers that are geographically vanishing. It has a longer-distance connection than LAN. It uses public networks like a telephone system or microwave transmits for connection facilities.

Types of WAN

The types of wide area network are as follows −

  • Enterprise WAN −These computers are in several geographical areas that belong to one organization. It is for assigned persons only.

  • Global WAN − It belongs to multiple teams of organizations. It is accessible to everyone. It is generated by both LANs and MANs.

They use radio waves, microwaves, or connection satellites for data transmission. The hardware elements needed for WAN involve Bridges, Routers, Gateways, and X.25 standard interfaces.

The bridge is hardware that connects two or more local area networks to form a wide area network. Generally, the LANs linked by it use the same network protocol, but they can be used with two LANs having multiple wiring or network protocols.

The bridge implements the data link layer of the OSI reference model. It manages the traffic flow between two LANs by understanding the address of each data packet received by it. The multiple transforming required at the bridge is minimum because all the devices support the same protocol. If the interval between two LANs is huge, exact bridges at either end of connection links are engaged.

A router is a particular type of hardware device which connects two or more dissimilar LANs to form a WAN. They perform at the Network Layer of the OSI reference model. The LANs connected can use similar or different network protocols. They compute the best routes for data messages packets based on the devices participating in the routing protocol.

Updated on 18-Nov-2021 06:05:15