A wide area network (WAN) is a computer network that covers a broad area (any network whose communications links cross metropolitan, regional, or national boundaries). This is in contrast with personal area networks (PANs), local area networks (LANs), campus area networks (CANs), or metropolitan area networks (MANs) which are usually limited to a room, building, campus or specific metropolitan area (e.g., a city) respectively.WANs are used to connect LANs and other types of networks together, so that users and computers in one location can communicate with users and computers in other locations. A wide area network (WAN) is a telecommunications network, usually used for connecting computers, that spans a wide geographical area. WANs are often used by larger corporations or organizations to facilitate the exchange of data and in a wide variety of industries, corporations with facilities at multiple locations have embraced WANs. Although WANs serve a purpose similar to that of local area networks (LANs), WANs are structured and operated quite differently. The user of a WAN usually does not own the communications lines that connect the remote computer systems; instead, the user subscribes to a service through a telecommunications provider.
WANs also transmit data at slower speeds than LANs. WANs are also structurally similar to metropolitan area networks (MANs), but provide communications links for distances greater than 50 kilometers.WANs are still used for voice services, but today they are used more frequently for data and image transmission (such as video conferencing).
How Wans Work:
WANs are either point-to-point, involving a direct connection between two sites, or operate across packet-switched networks, in which data is transmitted in packets over shared circuits. Point-to-point WAN service may involve either analog dial-up lines, in which a modem is used to connect the computer to the telephone line, or dedicated leased digital telephone lines, also known as “private lines. Point-to-point WAN service providers include both local telephone companies and long distance carriers. Packet-switched network services are typically chosen by organizations which have low volumes of data or numerous sites, for which multiple dedicated lines would be too expensive.
The most basic uses of WANs are for electronic mail and file transfer, but WANs can also permit users at remote sites to access and enter data on a central site’s database, such as instantaneously updating accounting records. New types of network-based software that facilitate productivity and production tracking, such as groupware and work-flow automation software can also be used over WANs.
Venom IT ‘s focus in Wide Area networking is to assist our customers in defining their Wide Area Network requirements, helping them select the correct product offering from a wide selection of carriers and then assisting them in smoothly planning, implementing and supporting the solution. By independently reviewing carrier options for each and every network, we are able to advise our customers of each solution’s benefits and limitations from a technical, operational, cost and strategic standpoint.
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