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WAN (Wide Area Network) types


There are 5 major WAN technologies available

  1. Point to Point Link
  2. Circuit Switched Network
  3. Packet Switched Network
  4. High Level Data Link control (HDLC)
  5. Synchronous Data Link control (SDLC)

Point to Point Link

Uses a public career for establishing WAN connectivity

Technology Details
SLIP (Serial Line IP)
  1. Enables serial devices such as modems to connect to remote network
  2. Asynchronous
  3. Slow speed
  4. Little or no security
Point to Point Protocol (PPP)
  1. Successor of SLIP
  2. Asynchronous and Synchronous operation
  3. More security features than SLIP
Point to Point tunneling protocol
  1. Relies on PAP,CHAP or EAP to provide encryption
  2. Developed by Microsoft
  3. Used in VPNs
Layer 2 Forwarding protocol
  1. Used in VPN with PPP
  2. Little or no security
  3. Developed by CISCO
Layer 2 Tunneling protocol
  1. Used in VPN
  2. Uses IPSec for encryption
  3. Uses UDP port 1701

Circuit Switched Network

Good fit for always-on connection. A dedicated circuit path is established for each session (much like a telephone call)

Technology Details
Digital Subscriber Link (DSL) Uses Analog Telephone lines
Data Over Cable Services Interface Specification Uses Cable TV network
Integrated Services Digital

Network (ISDN)

Users Analog Telephone lines that have been converted to digital signaling.

Packet Switched Network

In this network, the bandwidth is shared among the nodes.

Technology Details
Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS)
  1. Packets are encapsulated by Label Edge Router with a MPLS label that is used for routing
  2. Very high speed. Can transport ATM,SONET or Ethernet frames
X.25 1. Old technology, primarily outside USA

2. Uses Packet Level Protocol (PLP) in Network later and Link Access Procedure balanced (LAPB) at the datalink layer

Frame Relay
  1. Uses HDLC (High Level Data Link Control) encapsulation
  2. Can be used on SVC (Switched Virtual Circuit) or PVC (Permanent Virtual Circuit)
  3. No error correction, but very high speed
Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)
  1. Fixed length cells (53 bytes) that can contain voice, video or data
Synchronous Optical Network (SONET)
  1. Used in Fiber Optic Network.
  2. Very high speed, high availability.
  3. Successor is Synchronous Digital Hierarchy
Switched Multimegabit Data Service (SMDS)
  1. Datagram based


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