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An edge device is a type of networking device that connects an internal local area network (LAN) with an external wide area network (WAN) or the Internet.
It provides interconnectivity and traffic translation between different networks on their entering edges or the network boundaries.
An edge device primarily enables a local user to connect and transfer data to a network, which is external or is non-propriety to the organization/user. An edge device serves as the entry point into a service provider, carrier or an enterprise primary network. They also provide network translation between networks that use different protocols. For example, an edge device will translate and transfer packets and cells in between an Ethernet and ATM network.
Network devices that have immediate or direct connection to the Internet or an external non-propriety network are edge devices. Edge switches, routers, multiplexers and other WAN devices are common types of edge devices.