Features of a WAN (Wide Area Network)
A Wide Area Network (WAN) is a type of a computer network which covers a large area. By large area, it is meant that the area may expand beyond metropolitan, regional or even national boundaries.
WAN, in very simple language, connects two or more Local Area Networks via devices, so that there is faster and more secure communications between the different devices that can access the system. The users at many different locations of a Wide Area Network are connected to each other via one central server. This server can alone serve all the computers on a network.
All the computers in a Wide Area Network are connected to the central database that is managed by a system server. By using one network, all the computers in the Wide Area Network save data in real time and then send input results to the central server to receive output results at that very moment.
Have you ever sent an email from your phone to someone, or even yourself, and been confused at how long it takes to get to your recipient? Perhaps you have even checked your draft or sent folders to see if the message was actually sent. WAN services act to reduce, or eliminate this lag time between devices, so you’re getting the information you want quicker.
There are four types of Wide-Area-Network connection options: leased-line connection, circuit-switching connection, packet-switching connection or cell-relay.
The leased line is the most classic type of Wide Area Network, where there is a point-to-point connection between two computers. It is mostly used for small scale companies and colleges.
Circuit-switching is another type of Wide-Area-Network. In this type, a circuit is created between end-points and an example of this is a dial-up connection. Another feature of Broad Network is packet-switching, where multiple sets of data are sent and received simultaneously.
Packet Switching connections group all data that is to be sent into packets. The packets are recived at the other end of the network and will be unassembled.
Cell relay is a different way of breaking up the information to be sent. In this method, data is divided into fixed length cells, then transported across communication lines.
What does this mean for business?
With the help of Wide-Area-Network, resources can be more easily shared, access, and used by one company.
Wide-Area-Network has made life and communication very easy. Distances have been reduced by a great extent. Moreover, due to the VPN technology (which has been built by the principle of Wide Area Network), the employees can take their work home, access the secure company network, and work from remote locations at their own time and pace. This leads to more satisfied employees and higher productivity outputs.
There are many ways to build a Wide area network. You can either lay down your own cables between two or more locations or you can use leased lines provided by a host or telecom provider. Most companies use leased lines because it is less work and less expensive than creating a network yourself.
Businesses and institutions can leased lines from different service providers and pay them on a monthly basis. Leasing the lines, instead of setting your own, also come with a multitude of benefits. Network providers often offer extra services such as- monitoring, security, system reports, and 24 hour customer assistance at competitive rates.
The benefits of a Wide area network are unlimited. You can sit in one location and communicate with another office just as if it were next door. You can share documents, reports, prints, query databases, search through thousands of records in seconds.
Make sure you’re secure
WAN networks are the way to go. That is pretty clear. However, with any change of networks, especially when you are including more devices and people, it is important to reevaluate your data security. When you connect to the internet using live IPs, people maybe be able to access your network via the public internet and hack your system.
For this purpose, firewalls and routers securities are implemented. Extra layers of protection can be set up, including VPNs, running all your communications on a dedicated line only for your company, or having a systems administrator constantly monitor for breaches.
Get up to speed with your communications and connections by exploring the option of a WAN system for your business today.