Functions of Wide Area Networks (WAN) Tutorial

Wide Area Networks(WAN) covers a large area extends from countries to continents. It is used to connect LANs together. It is like when we need to connect two LANs at different locations separated by a long distance, we need WAN to connect them. There are different WAN services used to connect different LANs situated at different locations. Cable and DSL are the two most popular WAN connections. Other than these two, there is a list of WAN services available.

List of Popular WAN Services
  1. Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)

  2. Cable

  3. Dedicated circuits

  4. ATM

  5. Analog Dialup

  6. Frame Relay

  7. ISDN

  8. X.25

  9. SMDS (Switched Multi-megabit Data Services)

Popular Connection Types Used in WAN Services

There are four different connection types used in Wide Area Networks service. They are:
  1. Circuit-switched:

    Circuit-switched services provide a temporary connection using a phone circuit. Analog dialup and ISDN are examples of circuit-switched WAN connection types.

  2. Cell Switched:

    Cell switched service use dedicated connections but it can connect multiple devices by a single device using the same interface. It is advanced compared to dedicated switched services.

  3. Packet Switched:

    Packet switched services use variable length packets to connect multiple devices from a single device over a dedicated connection.

  4. Dedicated connections:

    As the name suggests it uses a dedicated connection to connect two different devices.

Recommended Readings
  1. What is Local Area Network (LAN)

  2. How to Improve Internet Connection Speed

  3. What is the Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)

  4. Basics of Computer Networking

Networking Devices Used in WAN

Important networking devices used in Wide Area Networks are:
  1. DSL and Cable Modems

  2. Firewall

  3. Carrier Switches

  4. NT1s

  5. Routers

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