What is WAN?


A wide area network, or WAN, is a network that connects computers and resources over a geographical area.

This contrasts with a local area network (LAN), which connects computers which are close to each other: for example, within a single premises. A WAN connects several of these smaller networks into a larger overall network.

In business terms, they are used to relay data across the different branches of an organisation. They can provide the benefits of increased security and customisation.

What is the most common WAN network?

Technology Term:

Wide Area Network

Standard Definition Exists?

A computer network in which the computers connected may be far apart, generally having a radius of more than 1 km.

Accepted Acronym:


Year first used/coined:


Attributed to:

Thomas Marill and Lawrence G. Roberts

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