LAN is abbreviation for Local Area Network. LAN is a network covering a small geographic area and connecting various end devices like computers and printers. LAN may be limited to a home, office, schools or building.
WAN is abbreviation for Wide Area Network. WAN is a network that covers a broad area and used to connect end devices like computers and printers which are distributed across long distance. WAN is used to connect different LANs.
LAN speed is higher (upto 1Gbps / 10 Gbps) while WAN speed is lower (upto 100 Mbps).LAN setup is managed and controlled by each customer itself while WAN is maintained and operated by service providers who exist under distributed ownership. While LAN is considered pretty secured and easy to manage, WAN setup is vulnerable to attacks(especially internet) and a strong security posture is required to protect WAN.
LAN, as compared to WAN setup is less expensive to setup and operate. Also LAN infrastructure faces very less congestion in comparison to WAN.
Below table shares detailed comparison between LAN and WAN and how each differs –