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What equipment is needed to set up a WAN, besides routers? What aspects of setting it up and maintaining it make it so much more expensive than a LAN?

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Cuz it's Wide, not Local. Gotta rent scarce resources, not build your own. –  mfinni Apr 3 '12 at 14:25
    
^ I know that the W in WAN stands for 'wide', thanks. –  BostonGeorge Apr 3 '12 at 16:56
    
I believe @mfinni was being sarcastic. –  Lucas Kauffman Apr 4 '12 at 11:09
    
I was actually trying to conjure up the spirit of "funny because it's true." If he's asking this question because he honestly doesn't know why renting service from a telecomms company is more expensive than plugging your own computers into your own switch in your own building, I'm not assuming he even know what a WAN is or entails. –  mfinni Apr 4 '12 at 13:20

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The expensive part of getting a WAN link is the link itself in terms of bandwidth (dedicated or shared) and in terms of connectivity (dedicated link or through switched network). Clearly, the dedicated line is much more expensive, and the higher the needed bandwidth the higher the cost.

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