Wan Access Router

Written by Amy Hunter
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A WAN, or wide area network, covers a large geographic area. While a LAN connects a small group of computers together in a network, a WAN connects a vast number of computers for a variety of reasons. A WAN may be built by a large company so that employees can communicate with each other. This type of WAN would be private.

Probably the most common form of WAN is the Internet. Each ISP builds a local area network. The LAN connects, using a router, to leased lines provided by the ISP. On the other end of the lines, a router connects the leased lines to a hub, or portal, on the Internet.

ISPs normally use leased lines to connect their local area networks to the wide area network of the Internet. The advantage of leased lines is that upgrades are easier for the ISP, as the telephone company will maintain the lines, and access can be shared by a variety of providers.

Whether the Internet is the only form of WAN you have used, or your company operates a huge company-wide intranet, you will find that unless you are a computer technician, you are not aware of what goes on behind the scenes. The routers send and receive data seamlessly, allowing for data transfers to occur as rapidly as the connection speeds allow. Regardless of the speed that a router is approved for, they are normally limited by connection speed as opposed to the speed of the router processing data.

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