A computer network is a collection of interconnected computers that are connected wirelessly or through cables for the purpose of sharing media or data. Computers on a network, also known as nodes, can share resources, including access to the Internet, printers and file servers, or enable electronic communication.
A computer network consists of at least two computers that can be connected using radio waves, cables, satellites, telephone lines, or infrared rays. There are other media or devices that help various devices communicate with each other, such as a switch, router, bridge, or hub, which are known as network devices.
Collectively, this hardware and software are combined to make it possible to create computer networks so that interconnected devices can share information, data, resources, and other network devices.
Types of computer networks
There are two main types of computer networks: wired and wireless.
Wired networks use the medium to transfer data between computers (nodes), while wireless networks use radio waves to transfer data and information over the air so that devices can connect to the network without cables.
While wired networks offer greater speed, security, and reliability, wireless networks offer greater flexibility, scalability, and mobility.
However, networks can also be classified according to their topology, design, construction, scale, and environment.
Computer Network Topology
A topology is simply a diagram of the connected devices, more like a structure or virtual shape of the network that does not match the physical location you see.
For example, computers on a home or office network can be arranged in a square or circular style, but the topology is not necessarily the same.
Computer network topologies are classified into five basic types: bus, star, ring, mesh, and tree, but hybrid assemblies exist that combine two or more of these topologies to form a more complex network.
Bus network topology.
This type of computer network shares a common backbone – a single cable that connects all network devices together. The cable acts as a collaborative communication medium to which devices are plugged in or connected using an interface connector. Any device that communicates with another device on the same network transmits a message that other devices will see, but it will only be accepted and processed by the intended recipient.
This type is best for multiple devices as its performance is affected by adding more than a few dozen computers. Also, if the cable fails, you will not be able to use the network.
Star Network Topology
This network topology has a node to which all devices are connected. It can be a network switch, hub, or router, but this requires more cable than a bus topology.
However, in the event of a cable failure, this will not affect the entire local network; it simply blocks access to one of the connected computers. However, if a node fails, the entire network is affected.
This network topology links modes through a point-to-point connection. Data travels along routes where nodes determine the shortest distance packets can use to reach their destination using routing logic.
It also uses a flooding technique that doesn’t require any routing logic but sends data to all nodes on the network.
Mesh topology is commonly used for wireless networks, and compared to a bus topology, a single computer failure does not cause disruption to data transmission or to the network itself. This type is commonly used in offices or school campuses.
In this network topology, computers are connected in a ring or ring format, with each device having two neighbors for communication purposes. The first and last nodes are connected to tie the loop together so that all messages travel in the same direction across the loop on their way to their destination. This topology can effectively support large
A tree network topology is a network structure that is a hybrid of bus and star topologies. It consists of several star topologies connected to a bus to form a tree-like shape with multiple branches, and is commonly used with wide area networks to counter diversity and future network expansion.
Hybrid Network Topology
This computer network topology consists of two or more topologies and is typically used in large enterprises whose departments have different network topologies from each other. When everything is connected together, it is called a hybrid topology. They share flexibility and scalability, making them suitable for large networks.
By understanding the type of network topology and networking concepts such as hubs, routes, and broadcasts, it will be easier for you to build a home or office computer network.
How a computer network works
A computer network has two main forms: client-server and peer-to-peer.
The client-server network includes centralized server computers that store files, web pages, email, and applications that client devices can access. They are commonly used in business.
Conversely, in a peer-to-peer network, all devices support similar functions and are typically used in the home.
For a computer network to function properly, you need physical infrastructure such as routers, switches and wireless access points, firmware for hardware to operate, and software for management, monitoring, and security.
Networks also rely on standard protocols to carry different types of data or perform discrete functions uniformly, regardless of hardware. Common protocols include TCP / IP, which can be found on home networks and the Internet.
However, not all devices can connect to the network, with the exception of devices with special communication equipment that physically connect to other devices, while others do not support networking at all.
Devices usually act as a client or a server. For example, your phone, tablet, PC, or network printer can act as a network client.
On the other hand, the server stores data that the client usually requests and consumes. It can be a game server or a web server, it usually consists of large disk storage, large amounts of memory, and high performance processors.
However, for the network to function properly, you need a network hub that allows nodes to send data directly to other nodes, a network switch that opens multiple paths for connected nodes to communicate with each other.
You will also need a network router to extend the capabilities of your network switch, a repeater to receive signals sent over the network connection and allow them to travel further, and a network bridge that connects incompatible network links together.
Improve data sharing
Today computers are used in many fields, and the use of the Internet improves from time to time, so that useful information in them benefits all classes of people.
Consequently, there is a need for the interoperability of computers on a network, especially for organizations and enterprises, to further aid in retrieving and exchanging data, and in the efficient use and management of computing resources.