Computer Network –Introduction:
When we talk of a computer network, it is a telecommunication channel that users can utilize to share their data with other devices or computers within the same network. It may also be referred to as Data Network. You can think of internet as a good example of computer network where people can share and send or receive data and content. A computer network isn’t a Control Unit that has a connection with different systems. That may be a distributed systems and shouldn’t necessary be seen as a computer network. A computer network needs to have these qualities:
What is Network?
In computer networks, we have the networked devices exchanging data among themselves using a data link. Usually connections are established in between the nodes or devices using a cable media or wireless media.
Network Nodes – What are they?
Generally speaking, network nodes are the devices where origination, routing, and termination of data take place. The nodes can include hosts like servers, phones, personal computers, or networking hardware. When you have two devices connected or networked together, there is exchange of information occurring on one of them even when there isn’t direct connection in them.
Computer networks also differ in various ways based on factors like:
- The transmission medium they use to carry signals
- The size of network
- The communication protocol used to organize the traffic within the network
- The topology
- The organizational intent
What a Computer Network Supports
A computer network can support various applications and services including:
- Access to the Web
- Digital video
- Share use of servers
- Digital audio
- Fax machines
- Use of instant messaging and email
Computer Network Types:
There are different types of computer networks and they include:
- Local area network also known as LAN
- Metropolitan area network also referred to as MAN
- Personal area network or PAN
- Home automation
- Virtual private network or VPN
- Storage area network or SAN
- Campus area network also referred to as cluster area network, or campus network, or controller area network. This network may also be referred to as corporate area network or CAN
- Wide area network or WAN
- Enterprise private network or EPN
Computer Network Applications & Benefits
Using a computer or setting up a computer network offers many benefits including sharing information and resources in an easy way. Other benefits are:
- Helping with communication where people can be able to communicate with one another using telephone, email, instant messaging, chat, and other resources
- Software sharing whereby users are able to access programs and software that are stored within a central computer
- Data sharing where same database is accessed by different people at one time, for example the internet or even corporate server
- Resource sharing in which users can have access to scanners, printers, modems and other resources.
Basically, a good computer network should ensure interpersonal communication, resource sharing and file sharing, or sharing of data.