Home / 🌐Internet / 📡 Networks / WAN: What are they, what types are there, and what are these wide area networks used for?

Rate this post

Although it is true, the term ” network ” is used in different areas of everyday life. However, in the computer world it is widely used to refer to the set of computers that are interconnected and thus, share resources .

In this regard, it is worth noting that it is possible to classify a network in different ways. Either according to its scope, its connection method or by the functional relationship of its components. In general, however, experts detail two types of networks; LANs and WANs .

In this post, we want to refer to WANs which are very important when it comes to a network according to its scope. Detailing this way, what they really mean, their uses, the types that exist and also which are their components.


What is a Wide Area Network and what are WWANs used for?

As for , the definition of a WAN , we can specify that it refers to a large computer connection that allows local networks and equipment to communicate over long distances . Since, they have a remarkable speed and have the capacity to cover a large geographical portion of the planet.

In this sense, these communications networks are responsible for connecting equipment that is specially designed to run user programs over about thousands of square kilometers , that is, over entire regions, countries and even continents.

It is therefore appropriate to refer to the Internet as a precise example of a WAN. The Internet can keep local networks and equipment connected from thousands of miles away. Taking into account that its acronym refers to the English phrase ” Wide Area Network “, which means ” Wide Area Network “; thus having a powerful objective to carry out the interconnection of all the elements that make up the network in question.

Now, referring to the uses of this type of network in computing, it is first relevant to emphasize that it can be developed specifically by a company, an organization for private employment or by an Internet provider. Thus, could be used for :

  • Cover and transfer large distances , perfectly supporting a remarkable amount of data traffic. What happens when dealing with Internet service providers.
  • Control an extraordinary amount of information required and handled by large companies and government organizations. This is in the case of private WANs.

In short, WANs are the networks that make the Internet and public access to all types of information possible . Therefore, today, the presence of these networks is necessary and very significant in the world.

What types of wide area networks are there?

It is no secret that WANs are showing the ability to be the computer integration technology of the future , as they can make instant communication even more efficient in the world and in different sectors that are developing day by day, such as: work, documentation, shopping, entertainment, etc. Therefore, different types of WAN networks could be developed.

Recommended for you:
How do I clear Chrome's browsing history? Step-by-step guide

However, at present, wide area networks are basically classified into three very protruding types as shown below:

¿Qué tipos de redes de área extendida existen?

Per packet

As the name suggests, the information handled by this WAN is broken down into small parts or portions . Thus, when they reach their destination, they are integrated into the original message again. Consequently, can be faster than those mentioned above.

By circuits

As for this type of WAN, it refers to those telephone dial-up networks that are responsible for receiving all the bandwidth delivery at the time the telephone line is used. Therefore, they can occupy such a line and are thus characterized by being truly slow .

By message

This is a type of WAN that consists of several computers that accept traffic from each of the terminals on the network in question. In addition, they manage the flow of information by means of messages , specifically. These messages are automatically replied to, redirected or deleted.

Components of a WAN What is needed to create one?

Componentes de una red WAN ¿Qué se necesita para crear una?

In order to create a WAN, the typical components that include the network are required. Bearing in mind that, a network of this kind can be detailed, basically, as a group of individual networks that are connected from very long geographical distances .

In this sense, a wide area network consists of:

  • Two or more independent local area networks . These are commonly known as LANs.
  • The required number of routers connected to each LAN .
  • It is also very valuable to have access devices to the link connected to each router . These devices are identified as LADs.
  • Wide area inter-network links that can be connected to each LAD used. It should be noted that the term ” inter-network ” refers to the combination of routers, LADs and links.

However, this combination ” inter-network ” when combined with LANs or independent local area networks, is what allows the creation of the WAN. Therefore, all the components indicated are absolutely necessary to achieve this, since, with the minimum lack of any of them, the operation of the network would be truncated .

Apart from this, it is worth noting that LADs or link access devices play a very important role in the creation of a WAN. Since, they are the ones that have the capacity to convert the signals to transmit them from the LAN in a format that is compatible with the wide area inter-network link .

Thus, the clearest examples of LADs are the following:

  • Modem
  • Terminal Adapter ( TA )
  • Data service unit/channel service unit ( DSU/CSU )
  • Frame Relay access device ( FRAD )
  • Packet assembler/disassembler ( PAD )

Further indicating that, the connections between these devices should be point-to-point through the intermediate network of a network service provider. Therefore, they communicate over a telecommunications circuit that may be permanent (data line contracted to a provider) or temporary (public switched telephone network), but always directly .


If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, we will answer you as soon as possible, and for sure it will be of a great help for other members of the community. Thank you! 😉


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *