Wide Area Network (WAN)
WAN is a type of network used to cover a wide geographical area or region. WAN links different metropolitan, countries, and national boundaries resulting in an easy communication. WAN connects different LANs around the world. Several protocols, such as X.25, Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), Frame Relay, are available for WAN. The transfer rate of these protocols is around 1 Mbit/s or less and they often use public telephone networks or leased transmission lines.
WAN networks are much complicated to operate because the signals to be transmitted have to travel a lot for reaching to the destination. Also, WAN connections are slower in comparison to other network type connections. These WAN connections usually rely on a public transmission medium offered by service providers. The most common example of WAN is the Internet.
Apart from the three main types of network namely, LAN, MAN, and WAN, there are other types of networks also available:
Personal Area Network (PAN): Provides communication between personal digital devices, such as fax machines, telephones, Personal Digital Assistance (PDA).
Campus Area Network (CAN): Refers to network that spans within a limited geographical area, such as campus or a military base.
Global Area Network (GAN): Refers to the network that provides support for mobile applications across number of wireless LANs, such as satellite coverage areas.
Value Added Network (VAN): Refers to the network, where a communication channel is hired by a company to facilitate Electronic Data Interchange LEDI) or provide other network services.
Virtual Private Network (VPN): Provides links between various nodes with the help of open connections or virtual circuits.
Wireless/Mobile Networks: Refers to the transmission media, such as the infra-red light, radio channels, microwave radio cellular telephone systems, and satellite relays. Here, the transmission rates vary with the media from 1 Megabit per second (Mbit/s) up to the 1 Gigabit per second (Gbit/s) range for satellite relays.