Wide Area Network (WAN) is a computer network that covers a broad area (i.e., any network whose communications links cross metropolitan, regional, or national boundaries, or, less formally, a network that uses routers and public communications links.
The largest and most well-known example of a WAN is the Internet.
WANs are used to connect LANs and other types of networks together, so that users and computers in onlocation can communicate with users and computers in other locations.
Transmission rate usually range from 1200 bits/second to 6 Mbit/s, although some connections such as ATM and Leased lines can reach speeds greater than 156 Mbit/s.
Typical communication links used in WANs are telephone lines, microwave links & satellite channels.
Recently with the proliferation of low cost of Internet connectivity many companies and organizations have turned to VPN to interconnect their networks, creating a WAN in that way. Companies such as Cisco, New Edge Networks and Check Point offer solutions to create VPN networks.
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