What you should know about Wide area networks

Wide area networks are a form of telecommunication networks that can connect devices from multiple locations and across the globe (learn more about SD-WAN here). This requires each device to have its own unique antenna which connect the devices together. These antennas are termed “keys” and when all the antennas are used, the network is a “closed” network. Keys are either individually capable or collectively capable of communicating with each other and send data.

WAN Product Types Explained

If the keys are shared, then the network is called a “wide area network”. If all keys are configured to communicate only with themselves, it is called a “local area network”. Other devices can then connect to the network. An Internet-only network is described as a closed network. Networks can operate anywhere because there are no keys in them.

Two types of wide area networks exist, built-in and external. Built-in networks are created from computers within a network. External networks are created outside the network, generally through the use of fiber optic cables. The building and building owner can offer networks for sale to the public.

When a computer sends an electronic message, the electronic message passes through a computer network and the messages become part of a network. The networks connect each computer with the rest of the network. The contents of the message do not travel across the entire network because the message is limited to the maximum length of a single “Internet Protocol” message. An entire network can be considered an Internet-connected building.

Internet Protocol (IP)

This “Internet Protocol” is the standard protocol for the World Wide Web, and may be used to connect all of a building or building’s machines to the Internet. The Internet was created in the 1990s, when a research project called ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) was founded. The first Internet protocol, IP, was defined in 1991. IP is one of several types of “digital” protocols.

IP allows for the exchange of information over an electronic network by using so-called IP addresses. An IP address is the numeric identification of a computer, called an IP address, from the computer’s location, which is expressed as a pair of numbers called an “IP address space”. These two numbers, or pairs, are called the Internet Protocol Number (IP Address) and the Internet Protocol Address (IP Address space). All Internet networks follow the same format and begin with the Internet Protocol Number (IP) and ends with the Internet Protocol Address (IP address space).

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