1. Introduction to WANs

1. Introduction to WANs

Wide Area Networks (WANs) and the technology supporting them have not been immune to the rapid rate of change and innovation found in modern computing. It seems that one major change has come along only to be replaced by something newer and more powerful. In relation to WANs it may be that the much heralded global village is moving from being an idea to being a reality.

The key difference between a Local Area Network (LAN) and a Wide Area Network (WAN) is that WANs have no geographical limitations. A WAN could be the connection of computers on opposite sides of the planet. Typically, WANs are interconnected LANs. One of the most famous examples of a WAN is the Internet: a WAN that grows larger day by day.

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