A wide area network (WAN) is a telecommunications network or computer network that extends over a large geographical distance.
A Wide Area Network suits an individual, a Company or Organization that operates different location that is separated by large geographical distances, it will be a matter of necessity to connect these individual locations so as to share, exchange and manager data or communication. To achieve this, the organization needs a Telecommunication Service Provider (TSP) to interconnect the LANs at the different locations.
Telecommunications Service Providers manage large area networks that can span long distances. TSPs transports voice and data communications on separate networks. These networks that connect LANs in geographically separated locations are referred to as Wide Area Networks (WANs).
Major characteristics of WANs:
WANs generally connect devices that are separated by a broader geographical area that cannot be served by a LAN.
WANs use the services of carriers, such as telephone companies, cable companies, satellite systems, and network providers.
WANs use serial connections of various types to provide access to bandwidth over a large geographic area.