The following information details the difference between LAN vs WAN for clarification.  Review the difference between LAN vs WAN as follows:

Local Area Network (LAN)

LAN means Local Area Network.  Furthermore, this would be the network inside your home or business that connects your shared resources and Internet connection.

Therefore, the most common LAN IP address configurations are in the range. To clarify, they would be called your Internal IP addresses.

If needing to find your LAN IP address, it is fairly easy to do.  Search or find your command prompt within Windows from your Start menu.  There are different versions of Windows but simply under Windows programs or Windows System folder. Layout of Local Area Network LANWith the Command Prompt open simply type  "ipconfig".

Under  the LAN adapter will have quite a bit about your connection, but more specifically the label with IPv4 Address would be your Local Area Network.

Wide Area Network (WAN)

WAN means Wide Area Network. Moreover, this would be your Internet Service Providers Network. Therefore, many routers label one of the Ethernet ports "Internet", some others more correctly label it "WAN".   To clarify, the WAN IP address would be your External IP address, the one you see on our home page.

To find your WAN IP address, it is also fairly easy to do, but it will require to log into your router.  With that said, open a web browser.  Log in to the router that connects to the Internet by entering its local IP address. This requires a username and password to access your router and can be found in the router documentation.

Find the WAN IP address in the router's configuration. As stated earlier, again it possibly called Internet IP, or even a different name, depending on your router type.


Okay, so you know that they are defined area networks.  But really what is the difference.

Basically a LAN (Local Area Network) is a simple computer network located in small physical areas.  For instance, located in homes, offices large and small, universities, and can consist of a single building or multiple buildings.

A WAN (Wide Area Network) is a complex computer network located in specific geographical areas. To clarify, it is offices located throughout cities, counties, states, and even furthermore nations depending on the geographical locations.

Some of the differences between LAN and WAN is as follows:
-  LAN is mainly private but WAN can be public or private.
-  LAN speed is higher than WAN.
-  Less congestion on a LAN while a WAN experiences more congestion.
-  LAN design and maintenance is fairly easy however design and maintenance for a WAN is much more complicated and difficult.
-  LAN operates on principles of broadcasting, while WAN operates on principle of point to point.

At this point we won’t get into a MAN (Metropolitan Area Network) for the time being as that would be another article at a later time.  However, it is area network similar to a LAN and WAN.

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