A Wide Area Network (WAN) is a telecommunication network that covers a broad area (i.e., any network that links across metropolitan, regional, or national boundaries). Business and government entities utilize WANs to relay data among employees, clients, buyers, and suppliers from various geographical locations. In essence this mode of telecommunication allows a business to effectively carry out its daily function regardless of location. This is in contrast with personal area networks (PANs), local area networks (LANs), campus area networks (CANs), or metropolitan area networks (MANs) which are usually limited to a room, building, campus or specific metropolitan area (e.g., a city) respectively. The textbook definition of a WAN is a computer network spanning regions, countries, or even the world.
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