WAN (Wide Area Network): Advantages And Disadvantages

What is WAN?

WAN stands for wide area network, which is a network that spans over many more than one computer or device. A WAN can be used to connect multiple offices and locations together, mainly to share data and resources.

The Wide Area Network can be either dedicated to a specific purpose, such as an Internet connection between two companies, or it can be used for general communication among devices, such as an internal corporate telephone system.

Advantages Of WAN

  • High availability

Wide area networks provide high availability by allowing multiple connections through an Internet service provider’s servers to ensure that your users always have access to their data while working with your company’s applications or services.

  • Faster performance

The more bandwidth available to your devices, the faster they can communicate with each other and perform tasks like fetching information or streaming video.

  • Bandwidth

It can support more than just business data traffic. It can also handle email and Web use by employees, as well as the occasional file downloads or streaming video required by customers. If all this traffic uses up your existing bandwidth, then it is time for an upgrade.

  • Improved uptime

Because LANs are often shared among multiple users, downtime is inevitable especially when updates or upgrades must be made to the equipment in order for it to function properly; however, with WAN connections, this isn’t necessarily the case because there’s usually only one connection between each device and its corresponding server.

  • Greater flexibility

The advantages of a WAN are the flexibility to change the location of your data centers, to increase or decrease your bandwidth and to add or remove applications. You can also choose the level of service you want from your vendor. For example, you may need a fast connection for video-conferencing, but if your backup is running slow, then you might be able to reduce its priority. This allows you to monitor performance data from multiple locations and make changes accordingly.

Disadvantages of WAN

  • Complexity

The WAN is a complex network to configure and maintain. It requires the use of multiple routers and gateways, which mean that each router has to be configured differently depending on the location of users. This makes it difficult for administrators to troubleshoot problems in the network when they arise.

  • Network interference

The WAN is susceptible to interference issues because there are so many devices involved in its creation, so it can become very congested if not properly managed by an administrator or technician. This can result in lost packets, slowed down transfer speeds and even complete network failure if not handled properly by an expert in this field

  • High cost

The cost of a WAN can be high as it requires multiple devices and expensive cables. The cost will depend on the number of users you have, but it can range from $350 per user to $1,000 per user depending on what type of solution you use and how much traffic you need to carry between your locations.

Types of WAN

Some of the common types of WAN include;

1. Leased line and dial-up

A leased line is a dedicated link between your office and another location. It’s generally provided by your ISP (internet service provider) and you don’t have to pay extra for it. Dial-up is similar to a leased line except it uses the phone line instead of a modem.

2. MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching)

MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching) is a technology that allows you to build networks over long distances by using routers to label packets with different protocols based on their destination address. This allows different devices in both locations to communicate with each other easily without having to exchange packets across multiple layers of networking protocols (IPv4 or IPv6).

MPLS also offers faster data speeds than leased lines because there’s no need for conversion from one protocol to another along the way from one end point (router or switch) to another; all packets simply pass through unchanged from source to destination

Purpose For Using WAN

WANs are often created for two reasons: to connect geographically dispersed offices and organizations together, or to connect different networks within an organization that do not use the same networking protocol.

Recommended Reading: Advantages and Disadvantages of LAN

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