Difference between LAN and WAN

LAN and WAN both are a network device. This network design is some of the similarities and dissimilarities between them. One of the major difference between that network is that geographical area. So here this article gives information about the difference between LAN and WAN to know more details about it.

Full form : 
  • LAN stands for local area network.
  • WAN stands for wide area network.
Definition :
  • LAN is a computer network that connects a computer in a small area.
  • WAN is a network that covers a board area using private or public network transport.
Covers :
  • LAN cover only local area.
  • WAN covers a large geographical area.
Example :
  • The network uses in the office building, school, college can be a LAN.
  • The internet, a country/continent is a good example of a WAN.
Technology :
  • Ethernet and token ring to connect another network form the device when uses LAN.
  • ATM and frame relay device when using WAN.
Bandwidth :
  • High bandwidth is available for transmission.
  • Low bandwidth available for transmission
Connection :
  • One LANs can be connected to other LAN over any distance via telephones lines and also radio waves.
  • While we are using in WAN, a computer connected a wide area network are often connected through a public network such as a telephone system. 
Speed :
  • LAN speed up-to 80-90 Mbps.
  • WAN speed up-to 10-20 Mbps.
Data transfer rate :
  • LAN offer high data transfer rate.
  • WAN offer low data transfer rate.
Data transmission error  :
  • In LAN fewer data transmission error.
  • In WAN more data transmission error than LAN.
Ownership of the network :
  • LAN has private.
  • WAN has public or private.
Congestion :
  • LAN has less congestion.
  • MAN has more congestion.
Component :
  • In LAN layer 1 devices like hub and repeater, layer 2 devices like switches, and bridges.
  • In WAN uses layer 3 like a router, multi-layer switches, technology-specific devices like ATM or frame relay switch.
Fault tolerance :
  • More tolerant generated. LAN tend to have fewer problems associated with them, as there are a smaller number of the system to deal with. 
  • WAN tend to be less fault tolerant as they consist of a large number of system.
Geographical spread :
  • LAN cover a small geographical range.
  • WAN covers a large geographical range.
Propagation delay :
  • LAN has short propagation delay.
  • WAN has long propagation delay.
Set up cost :
  • In the LAN network, there is a need to set up a couple of extra devices on the network, it is not very expensive to do that.
  • For WANs since networks in a remote area have to be connected the set up cost are higher. 
Maintenance cost :
  • LAN is easier to maintain at a relatively lower cost.
  • WAN has wider geographical coverage so it has a higher maintenance cost.