Local Area Network (LAN) bandwidth rates are almost constant. Local Area Network (LAN) bandwidth rates are dependent on characteristics of the LAN technology in use (Normally FastEthernet or Gigabit Ethernet). Since most of Wide Area Networks (WAN) connectivity solutions are dependent on Internet Service Providers (ISPs), budget related constraints affect the quality of WAN.

• Most of the current Local Area Networks (LANs) use Ethernet as the LAN Standard (FastEthernet 100 Mbps, or Gigabit Ethernet 1/10 Gbps). Normally for WAN connectivity, technologies like VPN (Virtual Private Network) over Internet, or MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching) are used.

• Since Local Area Networks (LANs) are private networks, managed by dedicated local network administrators, Local Area Networks (LANs) are more reliable and secure than Wide Area Networks (WANs). Since Wide Area Networks (WANs) involve third-party service providers, WAN networks are less reliable and secure.

Read more: local access network design

• Initial set-up costs for Local Area Networks (LANs) are low as the devices required to set up the networks are cheap. Initial set-up costs for Wide Area Networks (WANs) are high, because of the devices (Routers, Firewalls etc.), cables and manpower required.

• Local Area Networks (LANs) running costs are less Wide Area Networks (WANs) running costs are high. Wide Area Networks (WANs) normally have recurring monthly cost as Service Provider access fees.

• Wide Area Networks (WANs) are more congested than Local Area Networks (LANs).

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