Introduction to Computer Networking
In today’s Internet World Networking plays a vital role for various organization success by creating a networking environment and device connectivity. The normal definition of Networking can be a process where information is exchanged between two or more person in an organization that can help you in many ways. But in Technical terms Networking is defined as a process where two or more group of Computers are linked together for exchanging information. Since there are various networking device that helps to connect a Computer to another Computer like Router, Hub, Switch and more. Networking is classified into two types are Wired networking where the Computers are connected through cables and Wireless networking without the use of cables.
Before going to Computer Networking there are certain terms that you should be aware of like NIC or Network Interface Card, LAN or Local area network, Servers, Hub or Switch and more. There are some hardware setups required for Computer network like network cables, distributors, routers, internal and external network cards. But the main aspect of every Computer networking is service and Protocols, whereas services can be gained by various service providers and Protocols are the standard set of rules for data communication. There are various types of networks categories like topology with star and ring which shows the geometrical arrangement of Computer system, Protocols for LAN known as Ethernet used for data communication and last one Architecture of network in peer to peer and Client/Server model. In other words the hardware and software both combines over a network for communication, connectivity, operations and management.
What is Computer Network?
A Computer Network is a connection of two or more Computers through a medium for exchanging information or data communication. It is also called as Data Network where you can easily send and receive data to or from a Computing device. These computing device may be PC’s, Workstations, Mainframes that are connected to Printers, modems, CD/DVD ROM and other peripherals for sharing resources over a network. The connections of the Computers over a Network are possible through several networking devices like routers, bridges, gateways, cables, Satellites and others. Internet is the best example of Computer network that helps you to exchange data between two or more Computers over a network. But Computer Network main function is to provide a medium for connecting and linking to various computing devices for easy data communication.
Computer networks are very useful in many ways for communication over a network through email or chat rooms, sharing Hardware resources for printing or scanning a document, sharing files and data on a storage device, sharing software applications and run remotely on other computers and many more. The Computer network is vast and can be classified into various types like:-
Scale wise the Computer network can be categorized into five types are LAN, WAN, MAN, CAN and HAN.
LAN or Local Area Network: – It is a computer network that covers a small geographical area like an office building, school, colleges etc., where wired or wireless LAN network is used for connecting devices like PC’s, printers to Internet. Wired connection can be done through cables like twisted pair wire, co-axial or optical fiber cable for speed data transmission. Similarly Wireless LAN network is performed through radio wave technology or Infrared communication that helps to connect multiple devices within an area. Ethernet or IEEE 802.11LAN is used for connecting a device to a router or modem for speed data transmission. The five main components of LAN are networking devices like workstations, printers, servers that can be accessed by other Computers, network communication devices like router, hub, and switches for connectivity, NIC or Network Interface card, Cables as medium and a Network OS.
WAN or Wide Area Network: – It is a Computer network type that helps to connect the Computers placed on other countries or cities through telephone lines, radio waves or other communication links. It mainly connects the LANs and other types of network that can be used for communicating to a Computer in one location to another location. The leased lines are used to build WAN that connects LAN through a router or a hub for data communication. It is very expensive and is used by big organizations for their business purposes.
MAN or Metropolitan Area Network: – The Metropolitan area network is designed to be used in a city or a town through wireless medium or using optical fiber cables. It is owned and operated by a single organization or an individual that can be used as public communication. It provides connectivity for LAN networks and connects them to WAN for sharing connection using Internet. The network size of MAN falls between LAN and WAN which initially covers a range of 5 to 50 km diameter.
CAN or Campus Area Network: – It is a Computer network designed to be used by a particular campus or a military base with Computers placed within a limited area.
HAN or Home Area Network: – The network is connected within user home that connects various digital devices over a network for communicating with other devices.
Characteristics of Computer Network
- Sharing Resources from one Computer to another Computer over a network
- Performance by measuring the speed of data transmission with number of users, connectivity and the software used
- Reliability makes easy to use an alternative source for data communication in case of hardware failure or connectivity issues
- Scalability increases the system performance by adding more processors
- Security is the main characteristics of Computer network where you can take necessary steps for protecting your data from unauthorized access