Data Networking (WAN's, LAN's, & VPN's)

The cable infrastructure in any office or building is critical to the overall functionality & success of that entity. Therefore proper planning, design, and installation of these network systems will help to ensure the longevity, quality of service, and that performance meets or exceeds manufacturers standards.

Today's environments you have several type of data networks, lets start with the first, WAN's. WAN stands for wide area network and is basically a network that covers a wide are by several different mediums. WAN's are used to connect LAN's (Local Area Networks) and other types of networks together, so that users and computers in one location can communicate with users and computers in other locations. WAN's are accomplished in many can have a point-to-point application which can be setup via compliant hardware, i.e. routers, or software programs utilizing the internet as the bridge, or you can lease dedicated circuits/lines from a telco provider between the points, which can be costly.

Some WAN's today are configured with routers designed to work with both LAN and WAN settings. That being a router on both separate networks, or LAN's becoming a WAN, by performing a continuous packet conversation between the two routers bridging the two LAN's together forming a WAN.

The next type of network setup is a VPN (Virtual Private Network). A VPN is accomplished with VPN based routers, or even with VPN based software running on a computer of that network. A VPN can consist of at least two routers, one at each local area network. These routers utilizing the internet establish a means of connection, either by utilizing a static, or fixed IP address issued from the local internet service provider as a physical address on the internet, or dynamically by a Domain name Service (DNS). A VPN once established sends data packets back and forth utilizing a public network, usually the Internet, to connect securely to a private network, such as a company's network is the basis of a VPN or virtual private network.  Companies and organizations will use a VPN to confidentially communicate over a public network and to send voice, video or data. It is also an excellent option for remote workers and organizations with global offices to share data in a private manner.

One of the most common types of VPN's is a virtual private dial-up network (VPDN). A VPDN is a user-to-LAN connection, where remote users need to connect to the company LAN. Here the company will have a service provider setup a NAS (network access server) and provide the remote users with the software needed to reach the NAS from their desktop computer or laptop. For a VPDN, the secure and encrypted connection between the company's network and remote users is provided by the third-party service provider.

Another type of VPN is commonly called a site-to-site VPN. Here the company would invest in dedicated hardware to connect multiple sites to their LAN though a public network, usually the Internet. Site-to-site VPN's are either intranet or extranet-based.

The last type of network which is not mentioned in above title is WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network). A WLAN consists of a router connected to an internet source that broadcasts the internet through a wireless signal within a range and is picked up on or connected to one or multiple wireless adapters. These adapters are built into most of today's newer laptops, and even built in to today's smartphones, and wireless network printers. With these routers it is best practice to secure the wireless connection, which can be accomplished in the programming of the router itself.

Whether you’re building a new location or want to upgrade your existing infrastructure, Stapleton Electric Co. is the only provider you will need for your networking projects.