What’s the Difference between WAN port vs LAN port?

Since we work online most of the time, we need to make sure our online connections are strong. Many newbie PC users are confused between LAN ports and WAN ports. They know they are different but they don’t know how they work and they don’t know how they can be used.

I will discuss the differences between the two ports and how they are used. So, let’s take a closer look, after reading this you will have a better understanding of Ethernet port or LAN ports vs WAN ports.

WAN port vs LAN port

What is a LAN port?

LAN port

A LAN port is a Local Area Network port. It provides communication to a local network, like your work or home office. A router will have several of these ports for connecting different devices, such as computers and other electronic equipment. The speed at which data is transferred depends on the number of ports available and the type of hardware connected to them.

A LAN port is needed to connect devices like computers or printers to a local network. It is typically used for transferring data quickly, as it has high transfer speeds and can handle large amounts of data at once.

In addition, in communication equipment such as broadband routers that have a function to relay between a wide area network (WAN) such as the Internet and a local area network (LAN) such as a home network, The cable outlet is sometimes called a LAN port (LAN side port).

What is a WAN port?

WAN port

A WAN port is a Wide Area Network port. It connects to an external network, such as the Internet, allowing you to transfer data over long distances at higher speeds than what you would get with a LAN connection. Most routers have one or two WAN ports that are typically used for connecting to an ISP (Internet Service Provider).

By providing communication to and from the internet, allowing you to access services such as email, web pages, and other online resources. A router will also typically have one or two of these ports for connecting to your ISP (Internet Service Provider). The speed at which data is transferred depends on the type of connection and the amount of bandwidth available from your provider. 

It is provided in devices such as broadband routers that connect public communication service lines with in-building Ethernet LANs and wireless LANs (Wi-Fi), etc. Insert the terminal of the cable that is connected to the network of the telecommunications carrier. A port for this purpose is called a WAN port.

A case where the telephone line or optical fiber line brought into the home by a telecommunications carrier is inserted, a terminal device for those lines is installed separately, and the device is connected with a LAN cable (Ethernet cable), etc. It may be designed to In the latter case, both the WAN port and the LAN port (LAN side port) are LAN cable terminals, so care must be taken in the wiring so as not to mix them up.

What are the differences between them?

The main difference between the two ports is that LAN ports are used to connect devices within a local network while WAN ports are used to connect to an external network such as the Internet. 

LAN ports provide much faster data transfer speeds than WANs and can handle more data at once. A single router may have multiple LAN ports for connecting multiple devices, whereas a WAN port usually only has one connection for your ISP.

In addition, a router’s LAN port will typically require you to use Ethernet cables, which are usually included with the device when you purchase it. However, depending on your ISP you may need special cables or adapters in order to connect using the WAN port.

In short, LAN is an outlet for connecting routers, base units such as wireless LAN, and Internet connected devices such as computers, and WAN is an outlet for connecting broadband lines. If you make a mistake with the outlet, you will not be able to connect to the Internet, so be careful when connecting the LAN cable.

When to use each type of port?

LAN ports are typically used to connect devices within a local network, such as computers and printers. WAN ports are usually used to connect to an external network such as the Internet.

For example, if you wanted to connect your home computer to the Internet, you would plug an Ethernet cable into your router’s WAN port and then into your modem or ISP connection point. On the other hand, if you wanted to connect multiple computers in your home office together, you would use the LAN ports on your router to do so.


1. What is the difference between a LAN and WAN port?

A LAN (Local Area Network) port is a port on a switch or router that is used to connect devices within a limited area, such as a home, office, or small network. A WAN (Wide Area Network) port is a port on a switch or router that is used to connect devices over an extended area, such as between different buildings on a corporate campus or across the globe.

2. How do you know which type of port your computer has?

You can identify the type of port on your computer by looking at the shape of it is. If it is a square or rectangle, then it is a USB port. If it is circular, then it is a firewire port. If it has six prongs in a lining wire pattern, then it is an ethernet port. And if it has two prongs and looks like a phone jack, then it is a telephone/modem port.

3. If you have a LAN port, can you use it to connect to the internet?

Yes, you can use a LAN port to connect to the internet. The LAN ports are used to connect devices like computers, printers, and game consoles within your home network. So if you have a device with a LAN port, such as a desktop computer or laptop, you can use it to connect to the internet by plugging it into your router’s LAN port.

4. When to use the WAN and LAN type of port?

The WAN port is for connecting your router to the internet, while the LAN ports are for connecting your devices (like your computer, phone, or printer) to the router.

5 How many ports do a router have?

A router typically has four Ethernet ports. However, higher-end routers may have more. Additionally, some routers now include USB 3.0 ports for connecting high-speed devices like external hard drives or flash drives.

Final Words

Understanding the difference between LAN and WAN ports is essential for setting up a home or office network. By using the correct port, you ensure that your devices are connected properly and securely so that you can access the internet without any issues.

If you are unsure of which port is which, refer to the instructions that came with your router or contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP). With the right information and a bit of patience, you can get your network up and running in no time.

When using a LAN port, you need to consider the size of your network. Larger networks will require more ports and are best served by gigabit Ethernet switches. You’ll also need to consider whether you want to use wired or wireless connections.

If you plan on connecting multiple devices, a larger switch may be required. Additionally, if you want to secure your network, consider using a firewall or VPN.

Remember to check which type of port your device either LAN port or WAN port has before plugging it in!

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