Network and Communication

A network is a set of devices (often referred to as nodes) connected by communication links. Or a network is simply two or more computers that are linked together. A node can be a computer, printer, or any other device capable of sending and/or receiving data generated by other nodes on the network.

Benefits of a Network:

  1. Information sharing –
    Authorized users can use other computers on the network to access and share information and data. This could include special group projects, databases, etc.
  2. Hardware sharing –
    One device connected to a network, such as a printer or a scanner, can be shared by many users.
  3. Software sharing –
    Instead of purchasing and installing a software program on each computer, it can be installed on the server. All of the users can then access the program from a single location.
  4. Collaborative environment –
    Users can work together on group projects by combining the power and capabilities of diverse equipment.

Network Criteria:
A network must meet the following network criteria:

  1. Performance –
    It measured by transit time and response time[also depends on users, medium, hardware, software.
  2. Reliability –
    It measured by the frequency of failure.
  3. Security –
    It protecting data from unauthorized access.

Risks of network computing:
The security of a computer network is challenged every day by:

  • Equipment malfunctions
  • System failures
  • Computer hackers
  • Virus attacks

Note:
Equipment malfunctions and system failures may be caused by natural disasters such as floods, storms, or fires, and electrical disturbances



Categories of Networks:
It is categorized into three types: LAN, MAN, WAN. Into which categories of network falls is determined by its size, its ownership, the distance it covers, and its physical architecture.

  1. LAN:
    It is usually privately owned and links the devices in a single office, building, or campus. Its size is limited to a few kilometres. It is designed to allow resources (h/w, s/w or data) to be shared between personal computers or workstations. In general, a given LAN will use only one type of transmission medium. The most common LAN topologies are bus, ring, and star.

  2. MAN:
    It is designed to extend over an entire city. A company can use MAN to connect the LANs in all its offices throughout a city. Maybe wholly owned and operated by a private company or it may be service provided by a public company (local telephone company).

  3. WAN:
    It provides long-distance transmission of data over a country, a continent, or even the world wide. Maybe wholly owned and operated by a single company is referred to as an enterprise network.

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