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What is Computer Network

Last Updated on April 18, 2023 by Prepbytes

A computer network is a group of linked devices with communication and resource-sharing capabilities. It allows users to share data, software, and hardware resources and provides access to the internet. Computer networks were introduced for communication and resource sharing among users and become a critical part of modern society.

What is Computer Network

Computer networks can be connected through wired or wireless connections and can be configured in various topologies, such as star, bus, mesh, and ring. Networks can be used for a variety of purposes, including sharing files and resources, accessing the internet, communicating with other users, and running applications and services. Computer networks have become an integral part of modern society, as they are used in businesses, schools, homes, and other organizations to support communication and association.

Working on a Computer Network

Here are the steps of how computer networks work:

  • A group of linked computers having the ability to communicate with one another is referred to as a computer network.
  • The devices in a network can include computers, servers, routers, switches, and other network equipment.
  • Each device on the network has a unique address called an IP address.
  • Data is transmitted over the network in the form of packets that contain information such as the source and destination IP addresses as well as the actual data being transmitted.
  • Network protocols such as TCP/IP govern how data is transmitted over the network.
  • Switches and routers help to direct packets to their intended destination on the network.
  • Firewalls can be used to protect the network from unauthorized access or attacks.
  • Network topologies such as star, bus, and mesh determine how devices are connected to the network.
  • Wireless networks use radio waves to transmit data while wired networks use physical cables.
  • Internet Service Providers provide access to the Internet which is a global network of networks that enables the communication between devices all over the world.

Types of Computer Networks

Here are some types of computer networks:

  • Local Area Network (LAN): A network that connects devices within a small geographic area, such as a home or office.
  • Wide Area Network (WAN): A network that connects various cities or countries over a large geographic area.
  • Metropolitan Area Network (MAN): A network that links devices in a particular metropolitan, such as a city.
  • Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN): A LAN that uses wireless technology, such as Wi-Fi, to connect devices.
  • Storage Area Network (SAN): A network that provides access to shared storage devices, such as hard drives and tape drives.
  • Virtual Private Network (VPN): A network that enables secure remote access to a private network over the internet.
  • Peer-to-Peer Network (P2P): A network that allows devices to share resources, such as files and printers, without the need for a central server.
  • Intranet: A private network that uses internet technologies such as web browsers and email, to provide internal communication and collaboration within an organization.
  • Extranet: A network that allows external parties, such as partners and customers, to access selected resources on an organization’s internal network.
  • Cloud Computing Network: A network that provides access to cloud-based services and resources such as storage and applications, over the internet.

Uses of a Computer Network

Here are some uses of a computer network:

  • File and printer sharing among multiple computers.
  • Sharing of internet connection to multiple devices.
  • Centralized data storage and backup.
  • Remote access to resources and applications.
  • Communication and collaboration among employees in a business setting.
  • Access to online services and cloud-based applications.
  • Device and system monitoring and control via the internet.
  • E-commerce and online transactions.
  • Online gaming and entertainment.
  • Education and distance learning through online courses and virtual classrooms.

Advantages of Computer Network

Here are some advantages of a computer network:

  • It enables communication and data sharing between multiple devices and users.
  • It facilitates remote access to resources and information.
  • They provide a platform for collaborative work and team coordination.
  • Provides access to a wide range of online services and applications.
  • Supports rapid and efficient communication and decision-making.

Disadvantages of a Computer Network

Here are some disadvantages of a computer network:

  • Technical issues and maintenance requirements.
  • Possibility of unauthorized access to sensitive information.
  • Limited privacy and confidentiality of data.
  • Potential for network congestion and slow performance.
  • Need for specialized technical expertise to set up and manage the network.

In conclusion, a computer network can be connected through wired or wireless connections and can be configured in various topologies. The working of computer networks involves several components and processes, including connection, addressing, routing, protocols, sharing resources, and security. So, computer networks are an essential part of modern society and are used in a wide range of applications and industries.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs):

Q1. What does a computer network serve?
Ans: The purpose of a computer network is to enable communication and resource sharing between devices and users, both locally and remotely.

Q2. What is a wireless access point?
Ans: A networking device called a wireless access point enables wireless devices to join a wired network.

Q3. What is cloud computing?
Ans: Cloud computing is a model for delivering on-demand computing services over a network, usually the Internet.

Q4. What are some common network security threats?
Ans: Common network security threats include viruses, malware, phishing attacks, denial-of-service attacks, and data breaches.

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