LAN vs WAN: What’s the Difference?
A Local Area Network (LAN) is a collection of computers and other electronic devices that are linked together in a confined space such as a single building, such as a school, laboratory, home, or office. Local Area Network is an abbreviation for its full name, which is Local Area Network. LAN refers to a network that allows users to share various resources, such as files, printers, games, and other applications. Connecting computers and a printer in a single location, such as a home or office, constitutes the most basic form of a local area network (LAN). In most cases, local area networks (LANs) will be utilised as one of the various types of transmission mediums.
What is WAN?
An important computer network known as a “Wide Area Network” is one that is dispersed across a significant portion of physical space. WAN network systems could be a connection of a LAN that connects with other LAN’s using telephone lines and radio waves. This would be an example of a WAN network connection. To a significant extent, it is restricted to an enterprise or an organisation. The majority of the time, high-end telecommunication circuits are utilised to set up wide area networks.
Application of LAN
The following are some common uses for a local area network:
It is possible to designate one of the computers in a network to act as a server, which will allow for the management of all of the other computers.
A Local Area Network (LAN) enables software to be saved on a server, where it is then accessible to all users of the network.
It is helpful in connecting all of the workstations in a building so that they can communicate with each other locally without having to access the internet.
It assists in the sharing of resources such as printers and scanners.
With the assistance of the client-server model of the networking system, software developers are able to make use of local area networks (LANs) for the purpose of sharing development and testing tools within an office or within a factory.
Application of WAN
The following are some common uses for wide area networks (WAN):
The head of the department at the corporate office wants to share some data with the associates who work in the regional offices. If they save the data on the centralised node, then they will be able to share the data with each other.
Communication within the military must take place over a network that is extremely well protected. In this particular scenario, WAN is utilised.
WAN networks are utilised by airlines and railways for reservation purposes.
Because they are both connected to the same network, the Dean and the Lecturer at the university are able to easily share data and resources with one another.
WAN makes it possible to connect workstations to one another on a local level, which enables individual nodes to communicate with one another even in the absence of an internet connection.
You are able to publicly share all of the nodes thanks to the resources like printers and scanners as well as hard discs and fax machines.
Difference between a LAN and a WAN
Here, are the main differences between LAN and WAN
|Tend to use specific connectivity technologies, like ethernet and token.
|WANs uses technologies like Frame Relay and X.25 for connectivity for the longer distances
|LAN is a computer network that covers a small geographic area, like a home, office, or group of buildings.
|WAN is a computer network that covers a broad area. For example, any network whose communications links cross-regional and metropolitan boundaries over a long distance.
|There is a need to set up a couple of extra devices on the network, so it is not very expensive.
|In WAN networks as remote areas have to be connected, hence the set-up costs are higher.
|LAN has a higher data transfer rate.
|WAN has a lower data transfer rate as compares to LAN.
|Ownership of LAN is private.
|WAN’s ownership can be private or public.
|The speed of LAN is high.
|The speed of WAN is slower than LAN.
|The propagation delay time is short in LAN.
|The propagation delay in WAN is long(longer than LAN).
|It offers more fault tolerance.
|It offers less fault tolerance in WAN.
|Its design and maintenance is easy.
|Its design and maintenance is difficult.
Advantages of LAN
Using a LAN comes with the following advantages and benefits:
Sharing computer resources on a local area network, such as hard discs, DVD-ROMs, and printers, results in a significant reduction in the costs associated with purchasing new hardware.
Instead of purchasing a licenced copy of the software for each client in the network, you can save money by using the same application across the network.
On the computer that serves as the network’s server, all of the users’ data can be stored on a single hard disc.
Messages and data can be sent and received quickly and easily between computers that are networked together.
It will be simple to manage all of the data in just one location, which will increase the level of data security.
All of the users connected to a LAN are able to share a single internet connection thanks to the capabilities of local area networks.
Advantages of WAN
The following is an analysis of the benefits and drawbacks of utilising WAN:
Because WAN allows you to cover a larger geographical area, even offices that are located at great distances from one another can still easily communicate with one another.
Contains devices like mobile phones, laptop, tablet, computers, gaming consoles, etc.
The client devices themselves contain the radio transmitters and receivers necessary for a WLAN connection to function properly.
Connects to multiple workstations in order to facilitate the sharing of software and resources.
You can share information and files across a wider area.
Disadvantages of LAN
The following is a list of the negative aspects of LAN:
There is a lack of privacy because the administrator of the local area network (LAN) can access the personal data files of every user on the LAN.
Because local area networks allow users to share computer resources, these savings can be realised. Despite this, the initial expense of setting up local area networks can be quite significant.
In the event that the LAN administrator is unable to properly secure a centralised data repository, it is possible for unauthorised users to gain access to sensitive company data.
Because there are problems with setting up software and hardware, a local area network requires constant administration from the network administrator.
Disadvantages of WAN
The following are some disadvantages or drawbacks of using WAN:
The initial cost of setting up a WAN network is quite expensive.
Maintaining the WAN network can be challenging because it requires the assistance of skilled technicians and network administrators.
Because of the involvement of multiple wired and wireless technologies, finding a solution to an issue takes significantly more time.
When compared to other types of networks, the WAN network has a lower level of security.