LANs and WANs

There are two main types of network:

  1. Local Area Network (LAN)
  2. Wide Area Network (WAN)


A LAN covers a small area such as one site or building, eg a school or a college.

LAN network diagram


A WAN covers a large geographical area. Most WANs are made from several LANs connected together.

WAN network diagram
  • The internet is a WAN.
  • A network of bank cash dispensers is a WAN.
  • A school network is usually a LAN.
  • LANs are often connected to WANs, for example a school network could be connected to the internet.
  • WANs can be connected together using the internet, leased lines or satellite links.