What is WAN in Information Security?

WAN stands for Wide Area Network. A Wide Area Network is a network that extends over a large geographical area including states or countries. A Wide Area Network supports a large geographical area. Suppose if the branch of the office is in a multiple city then it can link with them through WAN. The internet supports a leased line through which it can connect with multiple branch.

WANs are set of interconnected local area networks (LANs), which are defined to a physical areas. WANs are created by telecommunications service providers, who then lease these capabilities to multinational or otherwise high enterprises needing this degree of connectivity.

A WAN operates by using TCP/IP protocol in combination with networking devices including switches, routers, firewalls, and modems. It does not link individual computers; rather, they are created to connect small networks like LANs and MANs to make a large network. The internet is treated as the largest WAN in the world as it connects several LANs and MANs through ISPs.

The computers are linked to the wide area network through public networks, including telephone systems, leased lines or satellites. The users of a WAN do not own the network as it is a large setup linking the remote computer systems. However, they are needed to subscribe to a service supported by a telecommunication provider to use this network.

Wide area networks can be point to point type or broadcast type. In a point to point type network, the source and the destination machines are linked to each other via several intermediate routers. A point to point type network can be separated into two parts including the hosts and the subnet.

The devices between which communication is to be established are known as hosts. The hosts are linked to each other by what is called the subnet. The subnet includes the transmission lines (coaxial cables, fibre optic cables, etc.) and the intermediate switching elements also known as ‘routers’.

The service of a router is to receive the transmitted data and then choose an appropriate channel to forward it to the destination host or to another router. When a data packet appears at a router it is saved in the router until the output transmission line is clear and is then transmitted or forwarded to destination host.

The broadcast type Wide Area Networks (WANs) use a satellite or ground radio system. All or some routers have antennas through which they can get the incoming signal from the satellite. When a ground radio system is used the routers can connect between each other. It can also be possible that in a network, while some routers receive their outputs through their antennas, different are point to point type.

Updated on: 04-Mar-2022


Kickstart Your Career

Get certified by completing the course

Get Started