CCNA Study Guide

This Blog highlights CCNA study materials for those pursuing the CCNA EXAM 640-801.It is a must read for those going for the exam and need last minute total recall.

Click Here for CCNA exams qns!

Thursday, March 23, 2006


A WAN is a data communications network that operates beyond the geographic scope of a LAN. One primary difference between a WAN and a LAN is that a company or organization must subscribe to an outside WAN service provider in order to use WAN carrier network services. A WAN uses data links provided by carrier services to access the Internet and connect the locations of an organization to each other, to locations of other organizations, to external services, and to remote users. WANs generally carry a variety of traffic types, such as voice, data, and video. Telephone and data services are the most commonly used WAN services.

Devices on the subscriber premises are called customer premises equipment (CPE). The subscriber owns the CPE or leases the CPE from the service provider. A copper or fiber cable connects the CPE to the service provider’s nearest exchange or central office (CO). This cabling is often called the local loop, or "last-mile". A dialed call is connected locally to other local loops, or non-locally through a trunk to a primary center. It then goes to a sectional center and on to a regional or international carrier center as the call travels to its destination.

In order for the local loop to carry data, a device such as a modem is needed to prepare the data for transmission. Devices that put data on the local loop are called data circuit-terminating equipment, or data communications equipment (DCE). The customer devices that pass the data to the DCE are called data terminal equipment (DTE). The DCE primarily provides an interface for the DTE into the communication link on the WAN cloud. The DTE/DCE interface uses various physical layer protocols, such as High-Speed Serial Interface (HSSI) and V.35. These protocols establish the codes and electrical parameters the devices use to communicate with each other.

WAN links are provided at various speeds measured in bits per second (bps), kilobits per second (kbps or 1000 bps), megabits per second (Mbps or 1000 kbps) or gigabits per second (Gbps or 1000 Mbps). The bps values are generally full duplex. This means that an E1 line can carry 2 Mbps, or a T1 can carry 1.5 Mbps, in each direction simultaneously.