§ Wide Area Network is a computer network covering a large area as an example of the computer networks between regions, cities or even countries, or can be defined as well as computer networks require routers and public communications channels.
§ WANs are used to connect a local network with other local networks, so that the user or computer in one location can communicate with users and computers in other locations.
Advantages of WAN:
§ Messages can be sent very quickly to anyone else on the network. These messages can have pictures, sounds, or data included with them (called attachments).
§ Expensive things (such as printers or phone lines to the internet) can be shared by all the computers on the network without having to buy a different peripheral for each computer.
§ Everyone on the network can use the same data. This avoids problems where some users may have older information than others.
§ Share information/files over a larger area.
Disadvantages of WAN:
§ Setting up a network can be an expensive and complicated experience. The bigger the network the more expensive it is.
§ Security is a real issue when many different people have the ability to use information from other computers. Protection against hackers and viruses adds more complexity and expense.
§ Once set up, maintaining a network is a full-time job which requires network supervisors and technicians to be employed.
§ Information may not meet local needs or interests
§ Vulnerable to hackers or other outside threats