This article is part of an Essential Guide, our editor-selected collection of our best articles, videos and other content on this topic. Explore more in this guide:
4. - Key terms for WAN optimization and monitoring: Read more in this section
Explore other sections in this guide:
- 1. - Beefing up your service delivery model and application performance
- 2. - Reinventing the wide area network delivery
- 3. - Managing the WAN: New frontiers in service delivery models
What is a WAN?
A wide area network (WAN) is a geographically dispersed telecommunications network. The term distinguishes a broader telecommunication structure from a local area network (LAN). A wide area network may be privately owned or rented, but the term usually connotes the inclusion of public (shared user) networks. An intermediate form of network in terms of geography is a metropolitan area network (MAN).