What Is WAN? What’s the Purpose of It? What Are the Types of It?

WAN is essential for international businesses and daily use since the Internet is considered the largest WAN in the world. This post from MiniTool introduces some basic information about WAN. If you are interested in it, you can keep reading.

What Is WAN

These networks are established by the service provider. Then lease its WAN to companies, schools, governments, or the public. As long as these customers can access the established WAN, they can use the network to relay and store data or communicate with other users.

History of WAN

The foundation of the IP-based Internet began with the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET), the first wide-area packet switching network with distributed control and the first network to implement the TCP/IP protocol suite.

Purpose of WAN

As organizations grow and internationalize, WAN allows them to communicate between branches, share information, and stay connected. However, the wide area network also provides basic services to the public. University students may rely on WAN to access library databases or university research. Every day, people rely on WAN for communication, banking, shopping, etc.

Types of WAN

Packet Switching

TCP/IP Protocol Suite


Overlay Network


WAN can exist on a global scale without being associated with a physical location through the use of a leased network provider, while LAN exists in a limited area. LAN can be used to access a larger WAN (such as the Internet), but it can only be accessed within an area that the LAN infrastructure can reach.

To get more information about WAN vs LAN, you can refer to this post — WAN VS LAN: What Is the Difference Between Them.

Final Words

Originally published at https://www.minitool.com on January 13, 2021.



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