What exactly is computer networking?

Computer networking refers to the interconnection of computing equipment that may exchange data and share resources. To communicate information across physical or wireless technologies, these networked devices employ a set of rules known as communications protocols.

A computer network is made up of two or more computers that are linked together by cables (wired) or WiFi (wireless) in order to transmit, exchange, or share data and resources. A computer network is built with hardware (such as routers, switches, access points, and cables) and software (e.g., operating systems or business applications).

A computer network is frequently defined by its geographical location. A LAN (local area network), for example, connects computers inside a certain physical place, such as an office building, but a WAN (wide area network) can connect computers across continents. The internet is the most visible example of a WAN, linking billions of computers across the world.

Types of Computer Networking

A computer network is a collection of computers that are linked together to allow one computer to communicate with another to share resources, data, and applications.

The size of a computer network can be classified. A computer network is classified into four types:

Types of Computer Networks

  • LAN (Local Area Network)

Local Area Network (LAN): A LAN is a network that spans around 10 kilometres. A collegiate network, for example, or a corporate network. A LAN might be a single office, a building, or a campus, depending on the demands of the company. We can have two PCs and one printer in our home office, or it can be extended throughout an organisation and incorporate audio and video equipment. Each LAN host has an identity, which is an address that specifies hists in the LAN. A packet delivered from one host to another contains both the source and destination host’s addresses.

  • PAN (Personal Area Network)

A Personal Area Network (PAN) is a network that is set up inside a single person, often within a 10 metre radius. Personal Area Network is a network that is used to link computer devices for personal usage. Thomas Zimmerman was the first research scientist to propose the Personal Area Network concept. Personal Area Network has a 30 foot radius. Laptops, mobile phones, media players, and play stations are examples of personal computer devices used to establish a personal area network.

  • MAN (Metropolitan Area Network)

A metropolitan area network is a network that connects many LANs to build a bigger network that spans a greater geographic region. Government agencies utilise MAN to communicate with residents and private businesses. MAN connects several LANs to one another through a telephone exchange line.
RS-232, Frame Relay, ATM, ISDN, OC-3, ADSL, and other protocols are often used in MAN.
Its range is greater than that of a Local Area Network (LAN).

  • WAN (Wide Area Network)

WAN (Wide Area Network): A WAN is a network that links nations or continents. For example, the Internet allows users to connect to a distributed system known as www from anywhere on the planet. WAN interconnects devices such switches, routers, and modems. A LAN is often held privately by the entity that uses it. Today, we observe two types of WANs: point-to-point WANs and switched WANs.
Point-to-Point: Uses transmission means to connect two devices.

A switched WAN is a network that has more than two endpoints.

Uses Computer networking offer a wide range of applications that many people consider necessary today, including the following:

  • File sharing allows users to share data files over a network;
  • application sharing allows users to share applications over a network;
  • hardware sharing allows users in a network to share hardware devices such as printers and hard drives;
  • client-server model allows data to be stored on servers and accessed by end-user devices (or clients).
    Voice over IP (VoIP), which allows users to send audio data via internet protocols;
  • communication, which can include video, text, and voice; e-commerce, which allows users to sell and purchase things over the internet;
  • gaming, which allows many users from different places to play together.

Good Computer network criteria:

  • Performance may be assessed in a variety of methods, including transmission and reaction time. The length of time it takes for a message to go from one device to another is referred to as transit time. The time that passes between an enquiry and a response is referred to as response time. The network’s performance is determined by a variety of elements, including the number of users, the kind of media, and the hardware.
  • Reliability is assessed in addition to accuracy by the frequency of failure, the time it takes a connection to recover from failure, and the network’s resiliency in the event of a disaster.
  • Security concerns include preventing unwanted access to data, preserving data from harm and development, and adopting rules and processes for recovering from breaches and data loss.

Depending on the mode of

  • Point-to-Point networking is a kind of data networking that creates a direct connection between two networking nodes. A point-to-point connection is a direct connection between two devices, such as a computer and a printer.
  • A multipoint network is one in which more than two distinct devices share connectivity. The capacity of the channel is shared, either sparingly or temporarily, in a multipoint context. A geographically shared connection is one that allows many devices to use the link at the same time.
  • Broadcast networks: A signal mechanism in broadcast networks in which several parties may hear a single sender. Radio stations are a great example of the “Broadcast Network” in action. The radio station is a data/signal transmitter.

A protocol is a set of rules that all nodes participating in information transfer must obey. The internet protocol suite (TCP/IP), IEEE 802, Ethernet, wireless LAN, and cellular technologies are all examples of common protocols. TCP/IP is a conceptual model that standardises network communication. These linkages are suggested to have four functional layers:

  1. The network access layer specifies how data is physically transported. It describes how hardware transmits data bits via physical cables or fibres.
  2. The Internet layer is in charge of packaging data into intelligible packets and allowing it to be delivered and received.
  3. The transport layer allows devices to sustain a conversation by guaranteeing that the connection is legitimate and reliable.

Networks can be categorised as follows based on their organisational intent:

  • Intranet: An intranet is a collection of networks managed and controlled by a single body. It is typically the most secure sort of network, with only authorised users having access. In a local area network, an intranet is often located behind the router.
  • The internet (or internetwork) is a network of numerous networks linked together by routers and overlaid by networking software. This is a worldwide network that links governments, researchers, businesses, the general public, and individual computer networks.
  • An extranet is similar to an intranet, except it connects to certain external networks. It is typically used to distribute resources to partners, clients, or distant staff.

Topologies of computer networking

A network topology is a network’s physical or logical structure. The following are examples of network topologies:

  • Complete mesh network. All nodes are linked and may communicate with one another.
  • Network with a partial mesh. Some nodes are fully mesh-connected, while others are simply connected to one or two other nodes in the network.
  • Point-to-point network. The network is only connected to two endpoints.
  • The Star network All network nodes are linked to a central computer.
  • A network of trees. A star network or networks are linked together.
  • Bus service. Network devices are directly connected to a transmission line. Although all signals travel through all devices, each gadget has a distinct identity and identifies signals meant for it.

computer networking accessibility

Public and private networks are both possible. While anybody may connect to the public internet, access to private and virtual private networks needs the end user to be given access credentials.

Network access control (NAC) solutions in the enterprise commonly utilise security policies to control network access. This implies that network devices cannot connect unless they comply with a preset corporate policy enforced by NAC solutions. When NAC systems are deployed, they promptly find all network-connected devices, categorise them by kind, and then react to them based on predefined compliance rules implemented by the organization’s security team.

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