Wide Area Network (WAN)
A Wide Area Network (WAN) is the choice when networking in an area larger than a MAN. A WAN can span cities, states and even countries. Large companies and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are the most frequent environments in which you will find WANs. Perhaps the best known WAN is the Internet. It takes advantage of many different types of specialized equipment such as routers; long distance lines conditioned for data, and digital communication devices connecting those lines. The backbone of a WAN is comprised of high-bandwidth lines, which move network traffic over a large geographical area.
It is possible that you will be doing at least some WAN support if you are working for a medium to large sized company, even if your primary responsibility is LAN support. For example, if the users on your LAN in Dallas suddenly find that they cant access corporate reports stored on a machine at the company headquarters in Sacramento, you will probably be looking at the connection between the Dallas LAN and the Sacramento LAN, as well as checking with your colleague in Dallas to determine the status of the Dallas LAN.
WAN technology is discussed in more detail in the chapter on Wide Area Networking and Remote Access. Expect your knowledge of Wide Area Networking to be tested on the Network+ exam.
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