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LAN And WAN configuration

A Complete Look At LAN And WAN Configuration

LAN and WAN configurations refer to types of interconnectivity between computers. When setting up any kind of information and data network, it’s important to understand what exactly a LAN and WAN configuration is.

There are many overlaps between these two networks, but they also have some very clear differences.

We’ll cover it all in our guide below.

What Is LAN Configuration? 

LAN Configuration, which stands for local area network, is the process of setting up devices that are within close proximity to each other. This is done to enable communication and resource sharing among multiple devices in the same geographic area.

LAN configuration can also involve specifying network topology, selecting and configuring different network devices, assigning IP addresses and other network parameters, and setting up network services and security measures.

In a LAN configuration, all of the connected devices typically use the same router. This is because these configurations are focused on a smaller space with fewer devices.

You’ll typically find this kind of configuration in places like office buildings, schools, or homes. LAN configuration is easy to set up, affordable, and easy to operate.

What Is WAN Configuration? 

WAN configuration stands for wide area network (WAN). This process is all about connecting multiple devices and networks over a large geographic area, usually through public or private communication links.

While LAN configuration is focused on more localized networks, WAN configuration is designed for broader areas.

LAN And WAN configuration

WAN configuration involves choosing and configuring network devices such as routers, switches, and firewalls. Setting up a WAN network also involves selecting the appropriate WAN technology (like MPLS, VPN, or internet), assigning IP addresses, and setting up network security measures and services.

Generally, a LAN network will be connected to a WAN configuration so that it can communicate with a wider network. WAN configurations use public networks or privately leased lines. There’s often no limit to the geographical limits that a WAN configuration can reach.

Differences Between LAN And WAN Configuration 

LAN and WAN configurations follow the same idea of connecting devices through a network, although there are many key differences in how this is achieved.

Here are some of the main differences between LAN and WAN configurations.


There are a few differences in the types of cables and connections used in WAN and LAN configurations.

LAN configurations will use an ethernet cable for connecting devices, like computers, printers, and switches within a network. These cables are connected to a central point (router), where the cable spreads out from the rest of the network. Most typically though, LAN configurations use wireless connections.

WAN configurations have more advanced cabling, as the router in a WAN network needs to be accessible for other LAN networks. This is achieved by using various types of wired cables (like fiber optic cables, coaxial cables, and serial cables), or using wireless connections (like satellite signals or cell networks).

LAN And WAN configuration


WAN networks cover a much larger area, with devices spread further apart from each other. This makes WAN configurations more difficult to secure.

With a LAN configuration, the network can be protected by a single firewall. These networks are located in a single, confined area, which makes them a lot easier to secure and monitor. Access control can be created and easily controlled over the entire network.

WAN configurations require multiple firewalls and areas of data encryption. Access control to these networks can also get pretty complex.

Network Speeds 

LAN configurations typically have faster speeds than WAN configurations because the devices are located closer together and can communicate directly without passing through the public internet.

With WAN configurations, on the other hand, the data needs to travel longer distances and needs to pass through different communication links.

However, the speeds of different LAN and WAN networks vary depending on how the network is set up. The main factor involved in speed is the cabling, the types of technology used, and how much data is being sent through the network.

Wireless connections often slow down network speeds. If you want your WAN or LAN configuration to be faster and more reliable, using a physical connection (cable) is a suitable option.


WAN configurations cost a lot more to set up and maintain. This is because they cover a larger area, and require more advanced hardware.

LAN configurations don’t have such strong demands. They involve fewer devices and cover a smaller area, so setting up and maintaining these networks is more affordable.

LAN And WAN configuration

IP Addresses 

WAN and LAN networks each have their own IP addresses. This means that you will have both a WAN IP and a LAN IP at the same time.

The LAN IP is your computer’s IP address. This is generated by your router so that your router can identify and communicate with your computer. Your LAN IP is private.

The WAN IP is public – anyone on the internet can see it. This is your internet IP, and it will change depending on what internet connection you’re using and where you are based.


All LAN configurations are set up and managed in-house, while WAN configurations involve connections with the public internet. This means that these connections involve management through third-party telecommunications and data systems providers.

So, LAN networks are always private, while WAN configurations can include multiple public connections and networks.


While WAN and LAN configurations overlap, they serve two very different purposes. Understanding the differences in these networks is essential when configuring data systems for your organization.

Simply put, LAN configurations refer to the private network that you set up. They’re smaller, easier to manage, and are restricted to your devices.

WAN configurations are broader and involve connections with the public internet. They’re big, they have multiple areas of communication, and they’re more advanced and expensive to manage. Both WAN and LAN configurations work together to connect devices and allow for data systems to communicate effectively.

Using the overview above will help you choose the right configuration for your organization.

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