What is Wide area network?
Wide area network is collection of different local area networks, connect different LAN and WAN with each other, typically contain a country or region. Internet is the biggest example of wide area network. WAN include ISP cloud which have high speed links, branch offices connected with ISDN, ATM, BRI/PRI, E1/T1, Frame-relay etc. So WAN is running with large variety of protocols and providing different services. WAN communication subnet can use the public packet-switched networks, satellite communication networks and wireless packet switching network.
WAN have the following features:
- Large capacity and adapt to sudden communication requirements, to adapt to the requirements of integrated business services, open and standardized protocol device interface and improve communications services and network management.
- The data rates of WAN is low as compare to data transfer rate of local area network , and the signal propagation delay is much greater than the local area network. The typical data rates for WAN are 56kbps to 155Mbps, 622Mbps, 2.4 Gbps or higher speed WAN.
Some of famous and common WAN connection devices include:
- Routers provide services such as LAN interconnection, WAN interface, and many other services.
- Switches connect the WAN and provide voice, data and video communications.
- Modems provide voice grade service interface, channel service units are T1/E2 service interface.
- The Communication Server brings together users incoming and outgoing connections.
WAN is composed by a number of switches, routers, point to point line connections and also running the different protocols. Point to point communication methods can be used to create a wide area network, including leased lines, fiber optic, microwave, satellite channel. WAN can provide connection-oriented and connectionless two modes of service and WAN networking.
Learn more: How to design WAN