A peer-to-peer LAN doesn’t have a central server and cannot handle heavy workloads like a client/server LAN can, and so they’re typically smaller. On a peer-to-peer LAN, each device shares equally in the functioning of the network. The devices share resources and data through wired or wireless connections to a switch or router. Most home networks are peer-to-peer.

As organizations grow and become international, WANs allow them to communicate between branches, share information and stay connected. When employees travel for work, WANs allow them to access the information they need to do their job. WANs also help organizations share information with customers, as well as partner organizations, such as B2B clients or customers.

However, WANs also provide an essential service to the public. Students at universities might rely on WANs to access library databases or university research. And every day, people rely on WANs to communicate, bank, shop and more.