LAN and WAN are two different kinds of network connections used for communication between the devices attached to a particular network. LAN stands for Local Area Network, and WAN stands for Wide Area Network. In a LAN computers are attached to each other using a network device such as a hub, switch or router. LAN is limited to a small geographical area. An office, a school, an organization possess their LAN. LAN is usually inside a single building. On the other hand, WAN is the wide area network that is formed by attaching multiple LANs together. It is widespread regarding the geographical area. We can also say that a WAN comprise of several LANs connected with each other. WAN can be widely spread over a country or even across the borders.
What is LAN?
LAN stands for Local Area Network. It is the common sort of network established inside a building or local area. It covers the small geographical area. LANs are found mostly inside an office building, in an organization, in a school or a hospital. LAN is the most common sort of communication network that is established in a small geographical area. The computers or nodes inside a LAN can be directly attached to each other using a single LAN cable or can be attached to common network devices. Layer 1 and Layer 2 devices are commonly used inside the LAN for establishing the connection. These layers refer towards the universally accepted seven-layered OSI model that is established as network architecture and depicts the end to end communication in detail. Commonly used layer 1 and layer two devices in a LAN are the hub and switch respectively. Bridge and other various devices are also used for this purpose. LAN possess extremely high-speed communication. The data transfer rate in a LAN can reach up to 1000 Mbps. LANs are easy to setup and are cheap in setup and maintenance both. A single person can own LAN, or it can be in possession of a particular organization inside which the LAN network is established.
What is WAN?
WAN stands for Wide Area Network. A WAN is established by connecting multiple LANs together. We can also say that a WAN consist of several LANs connected with each other. As the name of the network states its kind, it the kind of network that is used for covering the large geographical area. A WAN can cover cities, states, countries, continents and even the whole world. The Internet is the most common example of a WAN network that covers the whole world. LANs inside a WAN network are connected via layer three devices. Layer 3 is referred as the Network layer in the standard 7 Layer OSI model. The most commonly used network layer or layer three devices are routers and multilayer switches. Communication in a WAN network is slower as compared to LAN and ranges maximum up to 150 Mbps. It is quite complex and costly to set up a WAN. Maintenance of a WAN is also costly as compared to LAN. WAN communication suffers more congestion than the LAN.
LAN vs. WAN
- LAN stands for Local Area Network.
- WAN stands for Wide Area Network.
- LAN covers the small geographical area.
- WAN covers the wide geographical area.
- LAN uses layer 1 and layer two network devices.
- WAN consist of several LANs and uses layer three