). This is incontrast with personal area networks(PANs),local area networks(LANs),campus area networks(CANs), or metropolitan areanetworks(MANs) which are usually limited to a room, building,campus or specific metropolitan area (e.g., a city) respectively. Thelargest and most well-known example of a WAN is theInternet.WANs are used to connect LANs and other types of networkstogether, so that users and computers in one location cancommunicate with users and computers in other locations. ManyWANs are built for one particular organization and are private.Others, built byInternet service providers, provide connections froman organization's LAN to the Internet. WANs are often built usingleased lines. At each end of the leased line, arouter connects to theLAN on one side and a hub within the WAN on the other. Leasedlines can be very expensive. Instead of using leased lines, WANs canalso be built using less costlycircuit switchingor packet switchingmethods. Network protocolsincludingTCP/IPdeliver transport andaddressing functions. Protocols includingPacket over SONET/SDH,MPLS,ATMandFrame relayare often used by service providers todeliver the links that are used in WANs.X.25was an important early
WAN protocol, and is often considered to be the "grandfather" of Frame Relay as many of the underlying protocols and functions of X.25are still in use today (with upgrades) by Frame Relay.Academic research into wide area networks can be broken down intothree areas:Mathematical models,network emulationandnetwork simulation.Performance improvements are sometimes delivered viaWAFSor WAN optimization.Several options are available for WAN connectivity:
Transmission rate usually range from 1200 bps to 6 Mbps, althoughsome connections such as ATM and Leased lines can reach speedsgreater than 156 Mbps. Typical communication links used in WANsare telephone lines, microwave links & satellite channels.Recently with the proliferation of low cost of Internetconnectivitymany companies and organizations have turned toVPNtointerconnect their networks, creating a WAN in that way. Companiessuch asCisco, New Edge Networks andCheck Pointoffer solutionsto create VPN networks.