What is the Full Form of WAN?

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full form of wan

The full form of WAN network is Wide Area Network. It is a computer network covering a large geographical area consisting of two or more LANs or MANs. In other words, WAN is a group of local-area networks (LANs) that communicate with each other. Moreover, WANs are designed to aid in better communication and sharing of information between multiple devices. The earliest example of WAN includes the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPNET) which was developed by the United States Department of Defense. It dates back to the late 1960s. 

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History of WAN

Interestingly, the history of WAN goes back to the early days of the development of computers. 

  • The origin of WAN goes back to the development of ARPANET in the late 1960s by the US Department of Defense.
  • It was developed as a research network to aid researchers in communicating and sharing computer resources remotely.
  • Over the years, WANs have become an increasingly popular part of modern communication and information systems. 

Also Read: What is the Full Form of PAN in Computer?

What are the Advantages of WAN Network? 

The advantages of WAN include:

  • It facilitates a centralized data process which helps multiple workstations to share data through the main server.
  • WAN allows users to connect and share data easily. 
  • WAN offers quick data transfer by dividing the workload. 
  • It covers a vast geographical area.

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Examples of WAN

Here are a few examples of WAN to help you understand the topic better:

  • Internet: The Internet is a global WAN that allows millions of users to connect their devices and networks around the world. 
  • Corporate WAN: Businesses also often invest in private WAN networks to connect their offices around the world. This helps them share resources and facilitates effective employee communication.
  • Educational WAN: Educational institutions also use the WAN networks to connect their libraries, classrooms, etc. Moreover, it also helps them to connect external resources such as learning management systems.  

Also Read: What is the full form of MAN?

Types of WAN Connections

Contrary to popular belief, WANs are of different types including:

  • Circuit-switched WAN
  • Packet-switched WAN
  • Cellular WAN
  • Satellite WAN
  • Virtual private network (VPN)

What are the Disadvantages of a WAN Network?

Below we have mentioned the most common disadvantages of a wide area network. Let’s take a look at them.

  • Troubleshooting WAN-related problems can be time-consuming. 
  • It can face occasional traffic blockage. 
  • WAN comes with a relatively low tolerance capacity. 
  • It might not be a budget-friendly solution for every user due to heavy installment costs. 

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What is the Difference Between WAN vs LAN?

Here are the key differences between WAN and LAN:

Parameters LANWAN
Full formLocal Area NetworkWide Area Network
Connectivity It connects users in close geographical proximity.WAN connects users in vast geographical proximity. 
Connection typeIt includes privately owned networks like Wi-Fi and ethernet. LAN includes publicly owned communication networks. 
Speed LANs are faster due to less distance and negligible congestion.The speed of WANs is slightly slower. 
Security LAN is more secure due to private ownership. Less secure due to public access. 

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