WAN Replacement

What Does WAN Replacement Mean?

Wide area network (WAN) replacement is the process of upgrading or otherwise replacing a wide area network, which uses resources beyond a local Ethernet or wireless connection.


Companies and other parties pursue WAN replacement in order to improve the functionality or security of internal communications.

Techopedia Explains WAN Replacement

In general terms, WAN replacement simply means the replacement of an existing WAN solution for any reason. However, WAN replacement also refers to implementing virtual private networks (VPNs) for better security.

These virtual private networks may use elements of the Internet’s infrastructure, but they will be constructed to provide unique trajectories and secure environments for data packets sent internally. Some describe a VPN as a secure tunnel for Internet communications.

One way to think of this is that the designated data path is closed off from more public Internet traffic. In addition to creating better security, WAN replacement can be used to deal with issues around bandwidth and the efficiency of communications. This is sometimes part of the focus, for example, in WAN replacement projects pursued by institutions such as schools and hospitals.

Being that the WAN typically connects remote locations, WAN replacement strategies will often apply to a range of buildings or properties.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…