What is a Computer Network?
- Computer Network is a group of computers connected with each other through wires, optical fibres or optical links so that various devices can interact with each other through a network.
- The aim of the computer network is the sharing of resources among various devices.
- In the case of computer network technology, there are several types of networks that vary from simple to complex level.
Components Of Computer Network:
Major components of a computer network are:
Switches work as a controller which connects computers, printers, and other hardware devices to a network in a campus or a building.
It allows devices on your network to communicate with each other, as well as with other networks. It helps you to share resources and reduce the cost of any organization.
Routers help you to connect with multiple networks. It enables you to share a single internet connection with multiple devices and saves money. This networking component acts as a dispatcher, which allows you to analyze data sent across a network. It automatically selects the best route for data to travel and send it on its way.
Servers are computers that hold shared programs, files, and the network operating system. Servers allow access to network resources to all the users of the network.
Clients are computer devices that access and use the network as well as shares network resources. They are also users of the network, as they can send and receive requests from the server.
Transmission media is a carrier used to interconnect computers in a network, such as coaxial cable, twisted-pair wire, and optical fiber cable. It is also known as links, channels, or lines.
Access points allow devices to connect to the wireless network without cables. A wireless network allows you to bring new devices and provides flexible support to mobile users.
Shared data are data that is shared between the clients such as data files, printer access programs, and email.
Network Interface Card:
Network Interface card sends, receives data, and controls data flow between the computer and the network.
Local Operating System:
A local OS helps personal computers to access files, print to a local printer, and uses one or more disk and CD drives that are located on the computer.
Network Operating System:
The network operating system is a program that runs on computers and servers. It allows the computers to communicate via the network.
A protocol is a set of defined rules that allows two entities to communicate across the network. Some standard protocols used for this purpose are IP, TCP, UDP, FTP, etc.
Hub is a device that splits network connections into multiple computers. It acts as a distribution center so whenever a computer requests any information from a computer or from the network it sends the request to the hub through a cable. The hub will receive the request and transmit it to the entire network.
Local Area Network(LAN) cable is also called Ethernet or data cable. It is used for connecting a device to the internet.
OSI stands for Open Systems Interconnection. It is a reference model which allows you to specify standards for communications.
Below given are some unique network identifiers:
Every device of the network is associated with a unique device, which is called hostname.
IP (Internet Protocol) address is a unique identifier for each device on the Internet. The length of the IP address is 32-bits. IPv6 address is 128 bits.
DNS stands for Domain Name System. It is a server that translates URLs or web addresses into their corresponding IP addresses.
MAC (Media Access Control Address) is known as a physical address is a unique identifier of each host and is associated with the NIC (Network Interface Card). General length of MAC address is : 12-digit/ 6 bytes/ 48 bits
Port is a logical channel that allows network users to send or receive data to an application. Every host can have multiple applications running. Each of these applications is identified using the port number on which they are running.
ARP stands for Address Resolution Protocol which helps network users to convert the IP address into its corresponding Physical Address.
Reverse Address Resolution Protocol gives an IP address of the device with given a physical address as input.
Here are some common applications of computer networks
- Helps you to share resource such as printers
- Allows you to share expensive software’s and database among network participants
- Provides fast and effective communication from one computer to another computer
- Helps you to exchange data and information among users via a network.
Here are the drawbacks/ cons of using computer networks:
- Investment for hardware and software can be costly for initial set-up
- If you don’t take proper security precautions like file encryption, firewalls then your data will be at risk.
- Some components of the network design may not last for many years, and it will become useless or malfunction and need to be replaced.
- Requires time for constant administration
- Frequent server failure and issues of regular cable faults