What is a computer Network?

A network is any collection of independent computers that communicate with one another over a shared network medium. A computer network is a collection of two or more connected computers. When these computers are joined in a network, people can share files and eripherals such as modems, printers, tape backup drives, or CD-ROM drives. When networks at multiple locations are connected using services available from phone companies, people can send e-mail, share links to the global Internet, or conduct video conferences in real time with other remote users. When a network becomes open sourced it can be managed properly with online collaboration software. As companies rely on applications like electronic mail and database management for core business operations, computer networking becomes increasingly more important.networking
Every network includes:
 At least two computers Server or Client workstation.
 Networking Interface Card’s (NIC)
 A connection medium, usually a wire or cable, although wireless communication between
networked computers and peripherals is also possible.
 Network Operating system software, such as Microsoft Windows NT or 2000, Novell NetWare, Unix
and Linux.

Characteristics of a computer network

Share Resources from one computer to another
Create files and store them in one computer, access those files from the other computers
connected over the network
Connect a printer, scanner, or a fax machine to one computer within the network and let
other computers of the network use the machines available over network.
Following is the list of hardware’s required to setup a computer network.
Network Cables
Internal Network Cards
External Network Cards

LANs (Local Area Networks)

A network is any collection of independent computers that communicate with one another over a shared network medium. LANs are networks usually confined to a geographic area, such as a single building or a college campus. LANs can be small, linking as few as three computers, but often link hundreds of computers used by thousands of people. The development of standard networking protocols and media has resulted in worldwide proliferation of LANs throughout business and educational organizations.

WANs (Wide Area Networks)

Wide area networking combines multiple LANs that are geographically separate. This is accomplished by connecting the different LANs using services such as dedicated leased phone lines, dial-up phone lines (both synchronous and asynchronous), satellite links, and data packet carrier services. Wide area networking can be as simple as a modem and remote access server for employees to dial into, or it can be as complex as hundreds of branch offices globally linked using special routing protocols and filters to minimize the expense of sending data sent over vast distances.


The Internet is a system of linked networks that are worldwide in scope and facilitate data communication services such as remote login, file transfer, electronic mail, the World Wide Web and newsgroups.With the meteoric rise in demand for connectivity, the Internet has become a communications highway for millions of users. The Internet was initially restricted to military and academic institutions, but now it is a full-fledged conduit for any and all forms of information and commerce. Internet websites now provide personal, educational, political and economic resources to every corner of the planet.

MANs (Metropolitan area Networks)

A metropolitan area network (MAN) is a largecomputer network that usually spans a city or a large campus. A MAN usually interconnects a number oflocal area networks (LANs) using a high-capacity backbone technology, such as fiber-optical links, and provides up-link services to wide area networks (or WAN) and the Internet.

VPN (Virtual Private Network)

A virtual private network (VPN) extends a private network across public networks like the Internet. It enables a host computer to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if they were an integral part of the private network with all the functionality, security and management policies of the private network.[1] This is done by establishing a virtual point-to-point connection through the use of dedicated connections, encryption, or a combination of the two.

Peer-to-peer networks

Peer-to-peer networks are more commonly implemented where less then per2per-networkten computers are involved and where strict security is not necessary. All computers have the same status, hence the term ‘peer’, and they communicate with each other on an equal footing. Files, such as word processing or spreadsheet documents, can be shared across the network and all the computers on the network can share devices, such as printers or scanners, which are connected to any one computer.

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