Monday, 1 February 2016

Difference between LAN and WAN in Wireless Routers

If you are wireless router user, you would have come across terms such as LAN and WAN. At times WLAN may have also come across your daily computer use. 


If you want to know the difference between LAN and WAN in wireless routers, let us have a look at the following information.

What is LAN?

LAN stands for Local Area Network. It includes all computers, smartphones, tablets, etc. that are connected in the same general location. 

This means all Internet enabled devices in the same office, home, single building, etc. The wireless LAN has a radius of wireless access point is some hundred feet. This distance can be extended by adding extra wireless access points to the network such as a Wi-Fi router, switch or a hub. In most cases, about 250 networking devices can be connected to a home or small business router. 

A LAN does not need a server. It is a simple setup of 2 or more computers linked together for sharing of files or software. 

There are 2 main speed standards for LAN ports. These include Ethernet that caps at 100Mbps and Gigabit Ethernet that caps at 1Gbps. In reality, the average speed of an Ethernet connection is about 8 Mbps and the Gigabit Ethernet connection clocks between 45 and 90MBps.

A LAN port on the router allows Ethernet-ready devices to connect with one another and share data. For these devices to get connected with Internet, one requires a WAN port. On some router, a WAN port is named as Internet port.

What is WAN?


WAN is short for Wide Area Network. It     is a network that covers any large geographic area. This includes any city, state, country or even the world. The Internet can be considered as a type of WAN as it covers the entire world. 

If you have a look at your router, you will find the WAN port is separated from the LAN port. It is usually marked with a different colored port. The WAN port helps connect one to an Internet source like the broadband modem. Thus, it helps the router connect to the Internet and share it with all the other Ethernet-ready devices.

In simple terms, a WAN is a computer network that covers a broad geographic area over a long distance. However the speed of a WAN is less than a LAN, about 150 Mbps. A WAN uses MPLS, ATM, X.25 or Frame Relay for connection over long distances. 

Devices that are connected with WAN are often connected with the help of the telephone system. Leased lines or satellites can also help connecting a WAN. A WAN is owned and controlled under collective or distributed ownership and management.


From the above information related to the difference between LAN and WAN connection in wireless routers, you must have understood that LAN consists of less congestion and WAN includes more congestion. As LAN covers a small area, it is easier to maintain at a low cost. On the other hand, WAN maintenance is costly and difficult. Setting up a WAN in remote areas is costlier. 

A wireless router helps you share Internet and provides you with protection from others from stealing your network. A router uses the IP address provided from the ISP and serves as the mediator between the LAN and the Internet. This was all about the difference between LAN and WAN. The next time your tech guy tells you to connect your WAN cable to the port on the router, you will know which port to go for.


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