A wide area network (WAN) is a computer network that covers a wide or broad area. It’s like communicating from Madang PMIZ location at Vidar to Tabubil in the Western Province.
Other computer networking that are complimented by WAN are PANs, LANs, CANs, or MANs. Did you get all that down?
These are also computer networks but are restricted to a room, building, an area or a city.
WANs are used to connect LANs (Local Area Networks) and other types of networks together, so that users and computers in one location can communicate with users and computers in a different location.
Many WANs are implemented for one particular organizations or business and are normally private and others, built by ISPs or Internet Service Providers like Daltron, Datec, Pacific Mobile Communications or Digicel provide connections from an organization’s LAN to the Internet.
WANs are often built using leased lines. A leased line is a symmetric telecommunications line linking two locations. At each end of the leased line, a router connects to the LAN on one side and a hub within the WAN on the other. It’ expensive but can reach speeds greater than 156 Mbps.
Instead of using leased lines, WANs can also be built using other methods that cost less like circuit switching or packet switching methods. Network protocols including TCP/IP deliver transport and addressing functions. Protocols including Packet over SONET/SDH, MPLS, ATM and Frame relay are often used by service providers to deliver the links that are used in WANs.
Transmission rate usually range from 1200 bps to 6 Mbps, except for ATM and Leased lines which can reach faster speeds.
I hope this will help you with the idea of WAN. By the way….PAN stands for Personal Area Network, CAN for Campus Area Network and MAN for Metropolitan Area Network.