Foundation Topics

As you read in the previous chapter, the OSI physical and data link layers work together to deliver data across a wide variety of types of physical networks. LAN standards and protocols define how to network between devices that are relatively close together—hence the term local in the acronym LAN. WAN standards and protocols define how to network between devices that are relatively far apart—in some cases, even thousands of miles apart— hence the term wide-area in the acronym WAN.

LANs and WANs both implement the details of OSI Layers 1 and 2. Some details are different, but many of the concepts are the same. In this chapter, because you just finished reading about LANs, I will compare WANs to LANs whenever possible, to point out the similarities and differences.

In the CCNA ICND Exam Certification Guide, you will read more about the details of WANs, including the configuration details on Cisco routers.

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