lan vs wan

Local Area Networks (LAN) and a Wide Area Network (WAN) are similar in many ways. However, there are enough differences between the two to make them two separate acronyms. In any discussion regarding LAN vs WAN, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons, as the respective advantages and disadvantages can affect your business’ productivity significantly. Contact Tribus Computer today to discuss how either can be optimized for your company’s needs.


LAN vs WAN – The Pros & Cons Of Each

Let’s take a look at LAN vs WAN so you get a better idea of how either can meet the needs of your business. Be sure to also check out our Ultimate Guide To Picking The Best IT Services Management. Tribus Computer can help you save time and money, both of which are at a premium like never before.


What You Need To Know About Local Area Networks (LANs)

As per the name, Local Area Networks (LAN) connections operate in a local area, not any bigger than your house, or a single floor in your office building. A LAN can operate at great speeds, and it isn’t uncommon to see technology ready for 1Gbps (1 gigabit per second). According to PacketWorks, for example, if you were to download all 3,816,000 English articles off of Wikipedia it would take just over 13 hours to do so; the same task on a WAN would take 16 days. A LAN, therefore, can operate up to 30x faster than a WAN.

A LAN connection is also cost-friendly and easy to set up. All you need are some Ethernet cables and a network switch, and you are all set. Additionally, you can see LANs being utilized over Wi-Fi, or you can use Wi-Fi in conjunction with standard Ethernet connections to create a LAN available to all kinds of devices, whether it be a smartphone or a desktop computer.

All of the above points us to the major disadvantage of a LAN, namely its locality. These networks are only as good as the length of your Ethernet cable or the scope of your Wi-Fi signal. Once out of those ranges, the network is unavailable.

Ideal Usage: Interconnect computers within a limited area such as a residence, school, laboratory, university campus or office building.

LAN – Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Speed Limited to Small Area
Easy to set up


lan vs wanLANs are accessible via Wi-Fi or ethernet cable and are limited in range.

What You Need To Know About Wide Area Networks (WANs)

A Wide Area Network (WAN) connection occurs in large environments and is available from house to house, city to city, and country to country. The fact that you are reading this article means you have access to a WAN: the Internet!

A WAN connection is generally harder to set up than a LAN, and there are many creative ways to do so. You can rent a line from an internet service provider and use their network, or you can connect the devices with various wireless technologies, like cell phone towers or satellites. These methods almost always demand high-level professional setup and maintenance.

Due to its massive size and scope, a WAN is almost always slower than a LAN, as the further the distance, the slower the network. One of the other major disadvantages to having a WAN is the cost it can incur, as having a private WAN can be expensive. The reason that WANs cost a lot tends to be because of the technology required to connect two remote places.

Ideal Usage: Business, education and government entities use wide area networks to relay data to staff, students, clients, buyers, and suppliers from various locations across the world.

WAN – Pros & Cons


Pros Cons
Not limited by distance
Large, intricate network capabilities


WANs are wide in scope and connect people all over the world.

LAN vs WAN? Trust Tribus Computer To Help Get You Connected

At Tribus Computer, we recognize that today’s network is no longer as simple as connecting a few computers in the office together. The corporate network has become a critical component of your business operation. Many businesses now require management and staff to access the corporate network 24/7 whether in the office, from home, or from other remote locations.

In addition, the possibility of unauthorized users accessing your network has become a real concern. At Tribus Computer we understand these issues and can design and implement a network to ensure security, reliability, and availability.

Tribus Computer manages total IT services in the GTA and can set up a LAN or connect you to a WAN for your business; Contact us today for your free quote.