Businesses must connect local-area networks (LANs) together to provide communications between them, even when these LANs are far apart. Wide-area networks (WANs) are used to connect remote LANs together. A WAN may cover a city, country, or global region. A WAN is owned by a service provider, and a business pays a fee to use the provider’s WAN network services.
Different technologies are used for WANs than for LANs. This chapter introduces WAN standards, technologies, and purposes. It covers selecting the appropriate WAN technologies, services, and devices to meet the changing business requirements of an evolving enterprise.