Last Updated on March 13, 2023 by Prepbytes
Remote work and online classes grew in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic, which required many people to work and learn from home. And working from home is only possible because of online meeting platforms and file-sharing, which are possible via a computer network. (By now, you should have figured out where we’re going with this.) Let’s take a look at what is computer networking, its types, and its applications, along with the advantages of computer networking and disadvantages of computer networking.
What is Computer Network?
A computer network is a system that connects multiple devices to share resources and communicate with one another. It allows for data transmission and information sharing between devices. It’s done within the network, regardless of where they are physically.
A computer network can be wired or wireless. They can range from small, local networks within a house or business to large, worldwide networks that cover multiple nations. In the digital age, they are critical for businesses, organizations, and individuals to communicate and collaborate.
Types of Computer Networks
Let’s look at the various types of computer networks. The following are four major categories and the areas they cover:
|Types of Networks||Range|
|Local Area Network (LAN)||Spreads over a building or office area|
|Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)||Large network of government, individuals, and private companies|
|Personal Area Network (PAN)||Has a range of approx. 10 meters (Individuals and devices)|
|Wide Area Network (WAN)||Spreads over multiple nations|
Applications of Computer Network
Computer networks have many applications across different fields and industries. Here are some common applications of computer networks:
- File and resource sharing
- Remote access and control
- Online gaming
- Cloud computing
- Internet of Things (IoT)
Advantages of Computer Networking
After much consideration and discussion, computer networks were established, and they are considered to represent the future of our evolution. That is why it is critical to understand its benefits. The following are some of the advantages of computer networking:
- Ease of accessibility: Modern computer networks are simple to navigate. Hence, even a child or a newbie to technology will find it simple to connect.
- Flexibility: Flexibility means that various people will be able to explore different things depending on their needs. Computer networks offer a variety of options for sharing a specific piece of information for this purpose. For example, e-mail or messaging apps like Whatsapp. As a result, users have a variety of options.
- Convenient resource sharing: The primary goal of a computer network is to allow users to share resources. You can use shared resources like printers, scanners, and fax machines. This resource sharing is significant for large corporations because it allows them to communicate with their employees via a single common network.
- Connectivity: Computer Networks improve connectivity irrespective of a person’s location. In these testing times, we can see live examples as we use video call apps or Google documents to connect with our friends and colleagues.
- Security: Computer networks provide security through authorization. Authorization is done via user id and password. So, it ensures that when we log in, we are only able to do it when there is a perfect match between our details and the details stored in the database.
- Great storage capacity: Organizations have an abundance of data that needs to be stored. For that purpose, they are required to store them on a central server. A central server is a remote server that is accessible to each and every employee. So, if in case one loses the data, others have it.
- Internet of Things (IoT): IoT devices rely on computer networks to communicate and share data with other devices and systems, which can enable automation and improve efficiency in various industries.
Disadvantages of Computer Networking
Computer networks are the most widely used technology today, and almost everyone in the world uses them. It is quite modern and is expected to get more advanced over time. Yet, its long-term viability is dependent on addressing the challenges that individuals experience within the computer network. People who use the devices come from all over the world, and they bring all types of malware with them. The following are some of the disadvantages of computer networking:
- Security risks: Networks can be vulnerable to security breaches, including hacking, viruses, and other malware. This can lead to data theft, system damage, and other security issues.
- Dependence on technology: Computer networks can be complex and require specialized technical expertise to set up and maintain. This can create dependence on technology and may be a disadvantage for organizations that lack the necessary resources or expertise.
- Cost: Setting up and maintaining a computer network can be expensive, especially for larger organizations that require more advanced networking equipment and software.
- Maintenance and management: Networks require ongoing maintenance and management, including monitoring and troubleshooting issues that may arise.
- Network congestion: Networks can become congested with too much traffic, leading to slow performance and decreased productivity.
- Limited privacy: Networks can make it easier for others to access your data and communications, reducing privacy and confidentiality.
The presence of computer networks is extremely beneficial in this society, and it has many positive effects as well as changing the globe in many ways. It is the most convenient method of transferring and sharing information and data. Despite its many advantages, anyone who accesses a computer network should be aware of its disadvantages. The primary point of determining the advantages and disadvantages of computer networks is that they should be used to make life easier, be aware of their risks, and not be fully reliant on them.
Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about computer networking:
Q1: What are some advantages of computer networking?
A: Computer networking helps in enabling efficient communication and resource sharing among different network devices, allowing users to work more productively and effectively. It also enables remote access and control of devices, which is very useful for remote work and other applications.
Q2: What are the different types of computer networks?
A: There are several types of computer networks, such as local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), metropolitan area networks (MANs), and wireless networks.
Q3: Name some common network protocols.
A: Some common network protocols are TCP/IP, HTTP, FTP, and SMTP.
Q4: Name some common network architectures.
A: Some common network architectures are client-server, peer-to-peer, and hybrid networks.
Q5: How do I secure my computer network?
A: Well, we can secure our computer network by using strong passwords, encrypting sensitive data, keeping our software up-to-date, and using firewalls and antivirus software.
Q6: What is VPN?
A: A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a secure network that allows users to access the inter-network securely and privately by routing their traffic through an encrypted connection to a remote server.