What is a network?
A network of devices is just two or more devices that they have a way of communication or sharing work and information back and forth between them.
Whether you have connected two computers at your home, or one thousand devices at a factory, or millions of them on the internet.
There two common types of network
• LAN(local area network)
• WAN(Wide area Network)
Local Area Network:
It is a network that is confined to a relatively small area. It is generally limited to a building such as school, college and residence.
Wide Area Network:
It is a network that spans a large geographic area such as across cities, states, or countries. They can be private to connect parts of a business or they can be more public to connect smaller networks together.
Components of a Computer Network:
Individual Workstations – the End-User Component
The most fundamental of network components is the individual workstation. If you look around your office, these are the computers that make up your network, and they’re the machines where the end users’ actual work is done. Most of the time, these are full-fledged personal computers in their own right. They have all the main components of a computer – a large hard drive, plenty of RAM and so on – and they can work independently, away from the network, if they need to.
Not All Workstations are Equal
That doesn’t mean every workstation on the network has to be a full-blown computer. An ordinary laptop or desktop computer contains a lot of things that aren’t necessarily needed for network use, because they’re shared on the network. You don’t need a powerful processor of your own if most of the processing takes place in a massive data center, for example, and you don’t need a big hard drive if you have access to limitless storage in the cloud. Instead, many companies use bare-bones computers called thin clients, with just enough memory and processing power to boot up and get onto the network. In large companies, that can add up to a substantial saving.
A Server (or Not)
Some networks revolve around a central server, or a group of servers. You can think of a server as the main computer in a network, acting as a sort of manager or “traffic cop” to make sure everything runs smoothly. Generally, they’ll have more powerful processors and often more of them, and they also have the ability to communicate at high speed with large numbers of computers and other devices.
Servers vary pretty widely. In a small network of a few computers, it might be the same as any other machine except for added RAM and a larger hard drive. In a corporate setting, a single data center might contain thousands of servers mounted in racks in a specially cooled room, all acting as a single oversized computer.
The Backbone of the Network
The difference between a network and any old room full of computers is that the computers in a network can talk to each other. They can communicate in two main ways, either through some sort of physical connection or wirelessly. Older networks used a thick TV-style cable, but you’ll seldom see that anymore. Most modern networks use a lighter wire that’s flat and has a larger version of the connector used for landline telephones. You might also see fiber-optic network cables in some settings, which are even smaller, lighter and faster.
Connection to the Network
Your house needs a driveway to get your car onto the street, and your computer needs a way to get onto the network. You’ll find that on your computer’s spec sheet as its NIC, or network interface card. The term is a bit old-fashioned, because it dates from a time when networking was an optional extra: You’d have to install a network card into one of the computer’s expansion slots. Now, most computers come with both wired and wireless networking built right in.