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Wide Area Networks Introduction The following paper is a report into the characteristics and construction of a Wide Area Network WAN It will start by giving a basic description of a Wide Area Network and then go on to investigate in detail the actual structure and workings of a WAN The intended purpose of the report is to allow individuals with or without prior knowledge of the researched area to have better understanding of the report subject Basic Concepts Characteristics of a WAN The term WAN Wide Area Network refers to a network which covers a large geographical area and use communications circuits to connect the intermediate nodes WANs are used across a city country or even around the globe Typical transmission rates are 2 Mbps 34 Mbps 45 Mbps 155 Mbps and 625 Mbps but can be even more than this A WAN consists basically of two or more LANs Local Area Network which are connected to each other using WAN technologies under a high-speed communication The largest and probably the best example of a Wide Area Network is the Internet WAN technologies generally function at the lower three layers of the OSI Model the Physical Layer the Data Link Layer and the Network Layer all layers are shown in order below Bridges routers and multiplexers and other devices are used for correct data transmission Some WANs are extremely widespread global but most do not provide true global coverage Organizations supporting WANs using the Internet Protocol are known as Network Service Providers NSPs These form the core of the Internet The OSI Open System Interconnection Model - Application Presentation Session Transport Network Data Link Physical Addressing and routing On a Wide Area Network the routing of data is done mainly using TCPIP Transmission Control protocolInternet Protocol TCP is the protocol which enables two hosts to
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