wide-area network. Data communications network that serves users across a broad geographic area and often uses transmission devices provided by common carriers. Frame Relay, SMDS, and X.25 are examples of WANs. Compare with LAN and MAN.


Watchdog timer manager that runs on the NP of each LightStream 2020 ATM switch in an ATM network. The watchdog process rearms the watchdog timer so that the system automatically restarts if the NP fails. See also watchdog timer.

watchdog packet

Used to ensure that a client is still connected to a NetWare server. If the server has not received a packet from a client for a certain period of time, it sends that client a series of watchdog packets. If the station fails to respond to a predefined number of watchdog packets, the server concludes that the station is no longer connected and clears the connection for that station.

watchdog spoofing

Subset of spoofing that refers specifically to a router acting for a NetWare client by sending watchdog packets to a NetWare server to keep the session between client and server active. See also spoofing.

watchdog timer

1. Hardware or software mechanism that is used to trigger an event or an escape from a process unless the timer is periodically reset. See also watchdog.
2. In NetWare, a timer that indicates the maximum period of time that a server will wait for a client to respond to a watchdog packet. If the timer expires, the server sends another watchdog packet (up to a set maximum). See also watchdog packet.

waveform coding

Electrical techniques used to convey binary signals.

wide-area network

See WAN.


See broadband.

wildcard mask

32-bit quantity used in conjunction with an IP address to determine which bits in an IP address should be ignored when comparing that address with another IP address. A wildcard mask is specified when setting up access lists.

wire map

Feature provided by most cable testers. Used to test twisted pair cable installations, it shows which wire pairs connect to what pins on the plugs and sockets.

wiring closet

Specially designed room used for wiring a data or voice network. Wiring closets serve as a central junction point for the wiring and wiring equipment that is used for interconnecting devices.


TCP/IP network in Wisconsin (United States) connecting University of Wisconsin campuses and a number of private colleges. Links are 56 Kbps and T1.


Collection of workstations and servers on a LAN that are designed to communicate and exchange data with one another.

WorkGroup Director

Cisco SNMP-based network-management software tool. Workgroup Director runs on UNIX workstations either as a standalone application or integrated with another SNMP-based network management platform, providing a seamless, powerful management system for Cisco workgroup products. See also SNMP.

workgroup switching

Method of switching that provides high-speed (100-Mbps) transparent bridging between Ethernet networks and high-speed translational bridging between Ethernet and CDDI or FDDI.

World Wide Web

See WWW.


Action taken by an FDDI or CDDI network to recover in the event of a failure. The stations on each side of the failure reconfigure themselves, creating a single logical ring out of the primary and secondary rings.


World Wide Web. Large network of Internet servers providing hypertext and other services to terminals running client applications such as a WWW browser. See also WWW browser.

WWW browser

GUI-based hypertext client application, such as Mosaic, used to access hypertext documents and other services located on innumerable remote servers throughout the WWW and Internet. See also hypertext, Internet, Mosaic, and WWW.