Wide Area Network (WAN) is a computer network that spans a larger geographical area than traditional local area networks (LAN). WANs can connect computers in different cities, states, or countries and are often used to facilitate long-distance communication between multiple users. These networks can also connect to other networks, including metropolitan area networks (MANs), virtual private networks (VPNs), and the Internet.

A WAN usually utilizes public media like telephone lines, optical fibers, or satellite links to connect smaller networks in different geographic locations. Different types of traffic protocols are usually used to send information between different networks. These traffic protocols are usually implemented in layers, which allows for efficient data exchange.

The most commonly used WAN protocol is Internet Protocol (IP). IP allows computers in different networks to communicate in a packet-switched format. This means that bits of data are broken down and sent over the WAN from one network to another. As the packets reach the destination network, they are reassembled into their original form.

WANs allow users to communicate with remote resources, such as websites, servers, applications, and databases. Businesses often make use of WANs to provide employees with access to secure information and resources from multiple locations. WANs also provide a way to store data in a central location, where it can be accessed from any connected device.

WANs are used in a variety of industries, including finance, healthcare, manufacturing, and education. They are an essential component of modern lives and enable organizations to use resources distributed around the world efficiently and securely.

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