Difference between LAN and WAN

LAN vs WAN

When it comes to networking, it's very important to know the difference between LAN and WAN. A local area network is a computer network limited to a small geographic area such as home, office and school, while WAN is a network covering a large geographic area such as a city, a country or the whole world. The Internet is an example of a wide area network. A local area network uses technologies such as Ethernet, Wi-Fi. The characteristics of a local area network are high speed, fewer errors, ease of troubleshooting and low cost. WANs are generally based on leased lines and are therefore more expensive at lower speeds. In addition, due to the complexity, the number of errors is high and maintenance is difficult.

What is LAN ??

LAN, which refers to a local area network, is the name given to a computer network extended over a limited geographical area. Thus, computer networks located in a limited area, such as a house, school or office building, can be identified as local area networks. Wired and wireless media can be used for interconnections where twisted pair Ethernet and Wi-Fi are the most used methods for local area networks. Since limited to a small area, the cost to the network is relatively low. In addition, the speed is high, for example Gigabit Ethernet can provide about 1 Gbps of speed. Nowadays, when higher speeds are needed, fiber optic cables are used for local area networks, but it costs a little bit. Furthermore,

What is WAN ??

The WAN, which designates a wide area network, is a computer network distributed over a large geographic area. A network covering a city, a country or a network covering the whole world is designated by the term WAN. For example, the Internet that connects devices around the world is a wide area network. A wide area network can also be used to interconnect multiple local area networks. For example, consider a banking network. Each bank will have a local network and several branches will be spread across the country. Thus, the WAN will interconnect these local LANs across the country. The most common method for connectivity is leased lines. A leased line is a telecommunications line established between two or more locations by an Internet service provider on behalf of a customer, usually for a monthly rental. Consequently, a WAN network is much more expensive than the local network and the connection speed is much slower compared to the local network. In addition, due to the large distances, errors and connection problems are relatively large and troubleshooting is difficult. Protocols such as PPP, ISDN, X.25, Frame Relay, IPv4 and IPv6 are used for WAN.

difference between lan and wan
difference between lan and wan

What is the difference between LAN and WAN?


  • A local area network designates a local area network, while the wide area network designates a wide area network.
  • A local area network is limited to a small geographic area such as a building, a house, a school and an office. An extensive network spans a city, a country or even the whole world. The Internet is an example for a WAN.
  • Local area networks use technologies such as Ethernet and Wi-Fi. Leased lines are required for the wide area network.
  • The transmission speed in local networks is high. However, the transmission speed of the WAN is generally low.
  • The cost of a local network is lower than that of a wide area network.
  • The amount of errors in a local network is much less than that of a wide area network.
  • A problem in a local area network is easier to solve than a problem in a wide area network. The maintenance cost for a local area network is much lower than the maintenance cost for a wide area network.
  • The footprint of a local network is generally less than that of a wide area network.
  • A local network can be created with simple network devices such as switches and hubs. However, a WAN network needs peripherals such as routers and gateways. (But today, local area networks also contain several subnets where they will also have routers and gateways.)
  • A local area network is generally owned and controlled by a single person or a company. On the other hand, the WAN is owned and controlled by several parties.


Summary WAN vs LAN

A local area network is a computer network in a restricted area such as a house, a school and an office. A WAN network is a huge network, which even interconnects local networks distributed in a city, a country or even the whole world. The Internet is also a WAN network. A local area network is a small system, so it is much faster, less expensive, and fewer errors. They are easy to troubleshoot and maintain. On the other hand, WAN networks require that leased lines be installed probably by contracts with an Internet service provider. Therefore, the speed is lower and the cost is high. In addition, since a wide area network is a large system, the number of errors can be high while troubleshooting is difficult, which makes maintenance more difficult.

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