Difference between LAN and WAN
Difference between LAN and WAN

Difference between LAN and WAN

Networking is very important and rapidly growing technology. In computers the networking allows the user to share the files with each and other. Due to the invention of LAN and WAN this transfer has become very easy and many options are present for making this transfer to take place. There are many ways and technologies available for transferring and sharing data.


Local area network is used for making connection between computers in some restricted area. The transmission media used in local area network is known as Ethernet. And Ethernet was established in 1973-1975 at Xerox PARC.  And it was developed by Bob Metcalfe. LANs are mostly working on wireless methodologies. It is typically working in two layers.


Wide area network is used for communication between far areas.  It is a type of computer network which is used for long distances. Here the long distance may refer to across oceans, across continents or across different countries.



LAN stands for local area network. The name depicts LAN is used for small area connection.

Wide area network is the abbreviation of WAN. It names clearly states that to connect computers present in different geographical areas.


Maximum speed of Local area network is 1000 mbps which is much higher in comparison to wide area network.

Speed of wide area network is less in contrast to local area network as its speed is 150mbps.


Examples of LAN include different computers connected in a lab of university.

Example of Internet is a worthy example of WAN.


In case of local area network the controlling, monitoring and maintenance is done by only one person.

In wide area network the authority is disturbed between different people and the control is not centralized.



Cost for setting up local area network is relatively lower as compared for setting of Wide area network.

The cost for setting internet is comparatively higher than for setting LAN.

Transmission errors:

The occurrence of transmission errors is rare in case of local area network.

Rate of occurrence of transmission errors is higher as compared to LAN.


Bandwidth is higher is comparison to wide area network as a result there are less transmission errors.

Bandwidth is relatively low due to this reason the transmission error occur quite frequently.

Coverage area:

Local area network is best suited for small distances. Coverage area of local area network is less as compared to WAN.

Wide area network is used for the connection of wide areas.

Transfer rate:

Transfer rate of LAN is higher in contrast to wide area network.

Wide area has low transfer rate due to low bandwidth and larger distance.


There are two layers present in Local area network. In the first layer there are bridges and switches and in the second layer there are hubs and repeaters.

Wide area network works on the mechanism of three layers. And in that layers there are routers, switches and particular technology devices are present.


LAN and WAN both have their own pons and cons. Depending on the need they are used. The choice of LAN or WAN is made according to the need and area in which networking is to be done.