Modem – It is an electronic device that helps a computer transmits data along telephone cable. Data received digitally from the computer and it is send via analog waves along the cables. The Modem changes data between these two forms

A Wide Area Network is a telecommunications or computer network that spreads across a large geographical location. It is usually made up of multiple Local Area Networks (LANs) that communicate to spread and process information. Corporations, governments, and individuals depend a lot on WANs for communication and transmission of data among citizens, workers, and subscribers . Let us examine components of a WAN : They are Routers , Switches, and Modems they shall be discussed below Routers (nodes) : Think of a relay race, the runners are the routers and the baton is the data. The router gets information from one LAN, reads it and decides the next LAN it should pass the data to within the WAN. Remember that a WAN is a network of LANs. It achieves this by using Internet Protocol (IP) Addresses. Switches: While the router passes on information the Switch decides the channel data it receives will take to its final destination. For LANs it uses the characteristic addresses of the devices connected to the network, and for WANs like the internet for instance it uses IP addresses of the incoming data to "make these decisions" WAN Standards WANs run inside the Open System Interconnection Model (OSI) .The OSI Model is a conceptual and logical layout that defines network communication used by systems open to interconnection and communication with other systems. The model is broken into seven sub components, or layers (www.techopedia.com) WANs operate using the first two of the seven layers viz the data link layer and the physical layer. The physical layer defines the electrical and physical specifications of the data connection. It defines the relationship between a device and a physical transmission medium. It is responsible for transmission and reception of disorganized raw data in a physical medium.

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The data layer

The data layer is responsible for transmission of data between adjacent nodes(routers) in a wide area network. As it receives the data, it reads it, encapsulates it then sends it to the right nodes within the WAN


Encapsulation is the process of taking data from one protocol and translating it into another protocol, so the data can continue across a network .For instance data needs to be encapsulated in the data link layer

Network layer

before it is transmitted to the network layer (layer 3) within the OSI model. During encapsulation, each layer communicates with the layer above it as well as corresponding layers within the receiving node.


These are methods of transferring data between two nodes in a network. In circuit switching a dedicated line is created between two users for the transmission of data, and while the line is being used

Circuit Switching

In packet switching data is broken down into packets and transmitted across the network between the users. Packet is then transmitted over the Internet. At the destination the packets.

Many users can

Many users can be on the network simultaneously. Data can get lost in packet switching which makes circuit switching a lot more reliable, however the latter is archaic and costly when compared to the form.

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