A local area network usually co-locates hosts across a small geographic area, e.g., one or more buildings; primarily uses Layer 2 devices; and is owned and controlled by a single person or company. A wide area network is usually spread across a large geographic area, one that crosses metropolitan, regional, or national borders; uses more Layer 3 devices; and is often connected via public networks. In general, when creating paths, choose LAN if the path source and path target are in the same building, and choose WAN if the path between the source and target will cross a public network.

Regardless of your choice, AppNeta makes its own determination of whether a path is LAN or WAN during path setup. LAN paths have fewer than three hops; WAN paths have three or more hops. If you choose contrary to these definitions—which might happen when you’re creating multiple paths—AppNeta Performance Manager (APM) will automatically change the incorrect designations for you; you’ll notice this is the final step of the path setup wizard.

APM checks LAN/WAN designations nightly. A path will automatically be changed to WAN if it doesn’t meet the criteria for LAN; paths will not be changed from WAN to LAN if the WAN criteria is not met. To be clear, once the nightly check changes a LAN path to WAN, it will never be changed back, even if it currently meets the LAN requirements.