A WAN, or Wide Area Network is a computer network that covers a large area, such as those whose communications need cross metropolitan, regional or national boundaries. A WAN is used to connect local area networks, or LANs and other networks together; the linking of these computers allows users and computers in one area to communicate with users and computers in another location.
Most WANs are designed for a single organisation and are privately used. Those that are built by ISP, Internet Service Providers, provide connections from various organisation LANs, or local area networks, to connect to the Internet, in this way, communications can be delivered over national boundaries.
These types of communications include;
- Instant messages
- Real time auctions
- Online ordering placing
This in turn can reduce costs for companies by eliminating the need for travel and expensive long distance phone calls.
The benefits of using a WAN are that you can connect computers that are located over a vast area together. A network that can exchange data between sights is efficient and effective. The WAN enables computers to communicate with each other, some at different times and others at the same time. Not only can data be shared, but video as well, WANs are used for video conferencing and web casting. When communication is being shared between computers, each operator can access the same information at the same time.
When using a WAN, major corporations can reduce the branch office in house costs by enabling a centralised data centre to handle backup and storage resources. The use of a WAN also improves employee productivity by increasing and accelerating work applications as well as reducing replication across the WAN.
The use of private WANs have significant benefits also; the network is safe, secure and as it states, private. This type of network can reduce support and maintenance costs. There is an increased speed of the data that can be transmitted between sites because no other users are on the network. There is the ability to quickly access data that might be stored at different locations. This is also a great way for a company to provide training to their employees without the expense of airline tickets, hotels and providing meals for them.
As you can see, the benefits of having a WAN are vast. Whether you are using a private network to utilise quickness and efficiency between your satellite offices, or whether you are using a public WAN such as the Internet to purchase an item, communication between geographic areas is an important role in our society. Many people have used the Internet to gain knowledge by attending on-line college classes, or just have some fun playing an on-line interactive game; all of these activities were accessed using a WAN. The use of WANs offers opportunities never before possible for businesses as well as the everyday consumer.
Derek Rogers is a freelance writer who writes for a number of UK businesses. For Business Internet Services and WAN Services, he recommends Iconnyx.