What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of a WAN?

The advantages of a Wide Area Network are its size and speed, but it is often expensive and complicated to set up and maintain, requiring a trained network expert. WAN is designed to allow sharing of information over a broad geographical region.

There are two types of data networks: Wide Area Network and Local Area Network. The difference between the two is in scale. Whereas a LAN may cover communication within a room or buildings in the same locality, a WAN is used to exchange traffic between cities or even states. Similarly, a chain of supermarkets may have computers that are linked to one central computer through telephone lines.

WANs facilitate communication between branches of an organization and allow employees to work remotely. For instance, an organization may allow its employees to work with a local network from home using their Internet connection. This allows for flexibility and convenience for workers, as they do not necessarily need to physically report to their offices to perform their duties.

Generally, a WAN is used with public infrastructure, including phone or cable lines. The biggest disadvantage of a WAN is the high setup cost. At the same time, it requires full-time supervisors and technicians to maintain the network. In addition, security may be an issue if people have access to information from the computers of other users.