What is a Computer Network?

A computer network is a group of two or more interconnected computer systems. You can establish a network connection using either cable or wireless media.

Every network involves hardware and software that connects computers and tools.

In this Computer Networking Concepts tutorial, you will learn:

Advantages of a Computer Network

Here are the fundamental benefits/pros of using Computer Networking:

  • Helps you to connect with multiple computers together to send and receive information when accessing the network.
  • Helps you to share printers, scanners, and email.
  • Helps you to share information at very fast speed
  • Electronic communication is more efficient and less expensive than without the network.

Computer Network Components

Here are essential computer network components:

Switches

Switches work as a controller which connects computers, printers, and other hardware devices to a network in a campus or a building.

It allows devices on your network to communicate with each other, as well as with other networks. It helps you to share resources and reduce the costing of any organization.

Routers

Routers help you to connect with multiple networks. It enables you to share a single internet connection with multiple devices and saves money. This networking component acts as a dispatcher, which allows you to analyze data sent across a network. It automatically selects the best route for data to travel and send it on its way.

Servers:

Servers are computers that hold shared programs, files, and the network operating system. Servers allow access to network resources to all the users of the network.

Clients:

Clients are computer devices which access and uses the network as well as shares network resources. They are also users of the network, as they can send and receive requests from the server.

Transmission Media:

Transmission media is a carrier used to interconnect computers in a network, such as coaxial cable, twisted-pair wire, and optical fiber cable. It is also known as links, channels, or lines.

Access points

Access points allow devices to connect to the wireless network without cables. A wireless network allows you to bring new devices and provides flexible support to mobile users.

Shared Data:

Shared data are data which is shared between the clients such as data files, printer access programs, and email.

Network Interface Card:

Network Interface card sends, receives data, and controls data flow between the computer and the network.

Local Operating System:

A local OS which helps personal computers to access files, print to a local printer and uses one or more disk and CD drives which are located on the computer.

Network Operating System:

The network operating system is a program which runs on computers and servers. It allows the computers to communicate via network.

Protocol:

A protocol is the set of defined rules that allows two entities to communicate across the network. Some standard protocols used for this purpose are IP, TCP, UDP, FTP, etc.

Hub:

Hub is a device that splits network connection into multiple computers. It acts a distribution center so whenever a computer requests any information from a computer or from the network it sends the request to the hub through a cable. The hub will receive the request and transmit it to the entire network.

LAN Cable:

Local Area Network(LAN) cable is also called as Ethernet or data cable. It is used for connecting a device to the internet.

OSI:

OSI stands for Open Systems Interconnection. It is a reference model which allows you to specify standards for communications.

Unique Identifiers of Network

Below given are some unique network identifiers:

Hostname:

Every device of the network is associated with a unique device, which is called hostname.

IP Address:

IP (Internet Protocol) address is as a unique identifier for each device on the Internet. Length of the IP address is 32-bits. IPv6 address is 64 bits.

DNS Server:

DNS stands for Domain Name System. It is a server which translates URL or web addresses into their corresponding IP addresses.

MAC Address:

MAC (Media Access Control Address) is known as a physical address is a unique identifier of each host and is associated with the NIC (Network Interface Card). General length of MAC address is : 12-digit/ 6 bytes/ 48 bits

Port:

Port is a logical channel which allows network users to send or receive data to an application. Every host can have multiple applications running. Each of these applications are identified using the port number on which they are running.

Other Important Network Components

ARP:

ARP stands for Address Resolution Protocolwhich helps network users to convert the IP address into its corresponding Physical Address.

RARP:

Reverse Address Resolution Protocol gives an IP address of the device with given a physical address as input.

Uses of Computer Networks

Here are some common application of computer networks

  • Helps you to share resource such as printers
  • Allows you to share expensive software's and database among network participants
  • Provides fast and effective communication from one computer to another computer
  • Helps you to exchange data and information among users via a network.

Disadvantages of using Computer Networks

Here are drawbacks/ cons of using computer networks:

  • Investment for hardware and software can be costly for initial set-up
  • If you don't take proper security precautions like file encryption, firewalls then your data will be at risk.
  • Some components of the network design may not last for many years, and it will become useless or malfunction and need to be replaced.
  • Requires time for constant administration
  • Frequent server failure and issues of regular cable faults

Summary:

  • A computer network is a group of two or more interconnected computer systems
  • Computer networks help you to connect with multiple computers together to send and receive information
  • Switches work as a controller which connects computers, printers, and other hardware devices
  • Routers help you to connect with multiple networks. It enables you to share a single internet connection and saves money
  • Servers are computers that hold shared programs, files, and the network operating system
  • Clients are computer device which accesses and uses the network and shares network resources
  • Hub is a device that split a network connection into multiple computers.
  • Access points allow devices to connect to the wireless network without cables
  • Network Interface card sends, receives data and controls data flow between the computer and the network
  • A protocol is the set of defined rules which that allows two entities to communicate across the network
  • Hostname, IP Address, DNS Server, and host are important unique indetenfiters of computer networks.
  • ARP stands for Address Resolution Protocol
  • RAR Reverse Address Resolution Protocol gives an IP address of the device with given a physical address as input.
  • Computer network helps you to share expensive software's and database among network participants
  • The biggest drawback of installing computer network is that its initial investment for hardware and software can be costly for initial set-up

 

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