What is a computer network? It’s not a question you hear regularly, but it is important nonetheless. Without computer networks, the Internet would not be as efficient as it is today, which is why we decided to explain what a network is, to beginners, as well as different types of networks. Not only that, but this article will discuss the benefits of a network. There are no real downsides, so we won’t even go there.
What is a computer network
Well, a network is a group of computer systems connected to share resources and communicate. In addition, a network is also a set of devices and computers linked together via transmission media and communication devices.
We’ll talk more about broadcast media in another post, so keep an eye out for that very soon.
Utility of a network
- Speed up communications
- Share connected equipment
- Disseminate data and information
1]Speed up communications
Through networking, people can easily communicate with each other through email, messaging tools, chat rooms, social media, websites like this, online video calling, and more. If a network goes down, then all the tools connected to it will no longer work.
2]Share connected equipment
If some hardware devices are connected to a network, then it becomes quite easy to share these devices with everyone who has access to the network. For example, database or printer files are quite common on networks and are called network resources.
3]Disseminate data and information
Here is the thing; if you are an authorized user, you should have no problem accessing data and information stored on the network. A company like Microsoft would have a huge database of customer information, among other things, and all of this is open to employees with the right authority.
Types of computer networks
- Local Area Network (LAN)
- Wireless local area network (WLAN)
- Wide Area Network (WAN)
- Metropolitan network (MAN)
- Personal Area Network (PAN)
- Campus Area Network (CAN)
- Storage Area Network (SAN)
1]Local area network (LAN)
What we have here is a network that connects computers and devices in a small geographic area. For example, a local network is usually located in a building. In fact, a building can have several local networks connected to each other.
2]Wireless local area network (WLAN)
As the name suggests, this type of network is 100% wireless. It relies on a router connected to the internet, which in turn provides wireless connectivity to all supported devices. This network is currently in your house.
3]Metropolitan network (MAN)
OK, so a MAN is to connect local networks in a metropolitan area. Due to the distance, connecting these networks to create a MAN is done through transmission technology, there are several. Coax and fiber are probably the most used compared to anything else because of the cost.
4]Wide Area Network (WAN)
From what we can tell, a WAN is similar to a MAN, the difference being the distance. In a wide area network, LANs or WANs that are geographically separated or connected together via wireless technology, satellite in most cases.
5]Personal area network (PAN)
From the name alone, you should get an idea of what this network entails. It is a network that uses wires and wireless technology to connect computers and devices in an individual workspace.
Read: What are NTP and SNMP network protocols.
6]Campus Area Network (CAN)
They are usually found in universities or any business with a head office that looks like a campus. The network is made possible by a series of local networks from neighboring buildings. It’s bigger than a regular LAN, but at the same time, smaller than a MAN.
7]Storage area network (SAN)
This one is super simple. Storage devices are connected to each other using broadband connections.
We hope this basic tutorial helps you get a feel for it.