Computer Networking – Types, Components, Properties, and Usage.

Computer Networking

In this write up we will give you a brief note on computer networking in the easiest way. Here, we will cover what is a computer network, types of computer network, components, properties, Uses and disadvantages of computer networking.

What is a Computer Network?

Communication between two or more computers is called a computer network.

Sometimes multiple computers are connected to share the data, resources, or information. This feature of devices to communicate with one another is known as Networking.

There are different ways that help in transferring communication between devices and they are known as Network devices.

Examples are Bridge, Router, Hub, and Switch. In the current era of computer technology, devices are used in all fields like education, agriculture, technology, medicine, transport and so on.

Hence all these organizations will certainly need the inter-network connection of their devices to share data and other resources.

Components of Computer Network

types of computer networking

Few of the very important computer network components are as follows: –

Connecting devices – These are the middleware between computers and networks. which binds them together. Some of the connecting devices are –

  • Bridges
  • Routers
  • Gateways
  • Hubs
  • Switches
  • Repeaters

Servers – These are computers with a high configuration that can handle the resources in the network. These are the machines that hold different kinds of programs or files that can be accessed by another computer that is present in the network. Some of the servers are database server, file server, print server, etc.

Clients – These are computers that request or get the information or service from the servers to access the network resources.

Access points – This allows the computer to connect to the wireless network, ie. Without the use of cables. This provides flexibility to mobile users.

Shared data – These are the data that is shared between the client like files, programs, and email.

Network interface card – this controls the data flow between the computer and network. A network interface card can send and receive data.

Transmission media – These are the mode through which data is transferred from one device to another. Transmission media can be fiber optic cables, coaxial cables or infra-red waves, microwaves, etc.

Types of Computer Network

There are three types of computer networks based on different attributes such as mode of connection, size, types of devices, etc.

Following are the types of computer network that is based on size.

  • Local Area Network (LAN)
  • Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)
  • Wide Area Network (WAN)

Local Area Network (LAN)

LAN (Local Area Network) is a type of computer network where a group of computers is connected to a small area. Mostly they are restricted to that place and it cannot be accessed outside.

A few of the examples are hospitals, apartments, schools where they have access just in a building or organization.

In this case, only a few computers are connected and they are connected through switches and routers.

LAN is always secure as no one outside the connection has access to this network. Hence data shared in this network is secure.

LAN is comparatively smaller in size hence they are faster and speed ranges from 1000 Mbps.

Earlier LAN was limited to wire connection, but these days LAN allows the local networks to work on a wireless connection. As it covers a small geographical area it is easy to maintain at low cost as well.

Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)

MAN (Metropolitan Area Network) network usually covers a larger area than a LAN but lesser than a WAN (Wide Area Network). This has a large number of computers connected and is a combination of more than one LAN.

Due to size, in this type of network more administration is required. MAN generally covers an area of a city.

For example, the MAN network may cover school LAN, Hospital LAN, and a college LAN together.

Wide Area Network (WAN)

A Wide-area network (WAN) usually provides large area transmission of data. WAN has a lower rate of data transfer compared to that of LAN or MAN as they cover a larger area.

The internet is a very good example of WAN. These normally do not belong to one company but exist with distributed ownership.

The setup cost of a WAN in a remote area is higher as the connection needs to be setup.

However, the setup cost for a public network would be cheaper by using software (VPN).  The best example of a WAN is a mobile broadband connection.

WAN network allows us to choose the bandwidth of the network based on our needs. Larger organizations can choose large bandwidth for faster data while small industries can choose according to their need.

The main disadvantage of WAN is that we may unknowingly get the virus as our systems are connected to a large number of other systems.

Resolving an issue in the network may take more time as it is difficult to identify the exact location where the issue has occurred since WAN covers a larger area. 

Uses of Computer Network

Some of the fundamental benefits of computer network are –

  • It helps the user to share information quickly.
  • It helps to send data to other users through email.
  • It helps to share the email to other, scanners, and printers.
  • Users can connect to multiple computers to send and receive using the network.
  • Provides high reliability

Properties of Computer Networking

Some of the properties of the computer network are –

  • Scalability – By adding more processors, the scalability increases the system performance.
  • Reliability – In case there is a failure in the hardware or issues in connectivity, reliability makes it easy to use other sources of data communication.
  • Security– Users can take proper security actions, to keep the network safe.
  • Robustness – If there are by chance any defective nodes, the design of the network should allow it to function normally.
  • Migration – if the user decides to change the network, it should not affect its properties or operation and this is an advantage.
  • Sharing resources –A computer network can share the resources from one computer to another.

Disadvantages of Computer Networking

Some of the drawbacks of the computer networking is as follows –

  •  Constant administration is required which requires time.
  • Some components of the network that has been designed may not work after some years and that needs to be replaced.
  • Initially, when the setup is getting ready, the investment cost for hardware and software can be costly.
  • Proper computer security precautions like firewalls and file encryption are required regularly, as intruders can steal the data.

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