A Wide Area Network (WAN) is a telecommunication network that extends over a large geographical area, such as interconnecting multiple local area networks (LANs). WANs commonly use leased lines, circuit switching, or packet switching to transmit data between LANs, allowing them to share resources and communicate with one another. A WAN can be privately owned and managed, or leased from telecommunication service providers.

Characteristics of WANs

Common WAN Technologies

Here are a few widely-used WAN technologies:


Understanding the concept of WAN is essential in the context of cyber security, as it forms the backbone of connectivity between remote LANs. Ensuring security measures are taken to protect data transmission over WANs is crucial to maintaining the overall protection of businesses and their sensitive information.