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Wide Area Network Concept
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Wide Area Network Concept

A wide area network (WAN) provides long-distance transmission of data, image, audio, and video information over large geographic areas that may comprise a country, a continent, or even the whole world. we will discuss wide-area networks in greater detail. A WAN can be as complex as the backbones that connect the Internet or as simple as a dial-up line that connects a home computer to the Internet. We normally refer to the first as a switched WAN and to the second as a point-to-point WAN (Figure below). The switched WAN connects the end systems, which usually comprise a router (internetworking connecting device) that connects to another LAN or WAN. The point-to-point WAN is normally a line leased from a telephone or cable TV provider that connects a home computer or a small LAN to an Internet service provider (lSP). This type of WAN is often used to provide Internet access.


An early example of a switched WAN is X.25, a network designed to provide connectivity between end users.  X.25 is being gradually replaced by a high-speed, more efficient network called Frame Relay. A good example of a switched WAN is the asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) network, which is a network with fixed-size data unit packets called cells.  Another example ofWANs is the wireless WAN that is becoming more and more popular.

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