Basics of Networking
A computer network comprises two or more computers that are connected either by cables (wired) or WiFi (wireless) with the purpose of transmitting, exchanging, or sharing data and resources. You build a computer network using hardware (e.g., routers, switches, access points, and cables) and software (e.g., operating systems or business applications).
Geographic location often defines a computer network. For example, a LAN (local area network) connects computers in a defined physical space, like an office building, whereas a WAN (wide area network) can connect computers across continents. The internet is the largest example of a WAN, connecting billions of computers worldwide.
You can further define a computer network by the protocols it uses to communicate, the physical arrangement of its components, how it controls traffic, and its purpose.
Computer networks enable communication for every business, entertainment, and research purpose. The internet, online search, email, audio and video sharing, online commerce, live-streaming, and social networks all exist because of computer networks.
The internet is actually a network of networks that connects billions of digital devices worldwide. Standard protocols allow communication between these devices. Those protocols include hypertext transfer protocol (the ‘http’ in front of all website addresses). Internet protocol (or IP addresses) are the unique identifying numbers required of every device that accesses the internet. IP addresses are comparable to your mailing address, providing unique location information so that information can be delivered correctly.
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Network Service Providers (NSPs) provide the infrastructure that allows the transmission of packets of data or information over the internet. Every bit of information sent over the internet doesn’t go to every device connected to the internet. It’s the combination of protocols and infrastructure that tells information exactly where to go.
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Types of Network
LAN – LOCAL AREA NETWORK
WAN – WIDE AREA NETWORK
WLAN – WIRELESS LOCAL AREA NETWORK
MAN – METROPOLITAN AREA NETWORK
PAN – PERSONAL AREA NETWORK
SAN – STROAGE AREA NETWORK
CAN – CAMPUS AREA NETWORK
VPN – VIRTUAL PRIVATE NETWORK