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What is a Network?

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What is a Network? In computing, a network is a group of two or more computers capable of communicating. In reality, a it consists of a variety of different computer systems linked by physical and wireless connections.

The size will range from a single PC that shares simple peripherals too large data centres across the world, to the Internet itself. Whatever the distance, all networks allow computers and people to share information and resources.

Computer networks serve several functions, some of which include: 

  • Communications such as email, instant messaging, chat rooms, etc.
  • The exchange of data and information using shared storage tools.
  • Shared functionality that is accomplished by running remote-computer applications.

Two trendy network types include:

  1. Local Area Network (LAN)
  2. Wide Area Network (WAN)

Connections to Metropolitan Area Networks (MAN), Wireless LAN (WLAN), or Wireless WAN (WWAN) are also available.

LAN (Local Area Network): 

A Local Area Network is a privately operated computer network that covers a limited geographic area of Networks, such as a home, workplace, or building groups, e.g. a school network. To connect the computers and other network equipment, a LAN is used to allow the machine to communicate with each other to share resources.

The sharing tools may be a hardware device such as the printer, software such as an application system or data. LAN size is typically small. Using a cable, the different LAN devices are linked to central devices called Hub or Switch.

LANs are designed nowadays using wireless technology. Such a network makes use of access points or APs for data transmission and reception. One of the computers in a network may become a server that serves all the other computers, called Clients.

A library should, for example, provide a wired or wireless LAN network for users to connect local networking devices such as printers and servers to connect to the Internet.

LAN provides fast data transfer speeds of 4 to 16 megabits per second (Mbps). IEEE has programs exploring 100 Gbit / s standardization, and probably 40 Gbit / s standardization. LANs Net may have connections to other LANs Networks via leased lines, leased services.

WAN (Wide Area Networks): 

The telephone network is an extensive area network (WAN). An extensive area network is essentially a LAN of Networks or LANs. WANs bind LANs that may be on the opposite sides of a house, nationally or worldwide. WANS is distinguished by the lowest levels of data contact and the most significant distances. WANs may be of two types: a WAN enterprise and a Global WAN.

Computers connected to a Wide Area Network are also linked by public networks, such as the telephone system. Also, they can be connected via leased lines or satellites. The Internet is the most comprehensive WAN in nature. Such Internet divisions, such as extranets focused on VPN, are also WANs in themselves. Lastly, many WANs are corporate or research networks which use leased lines.

Numerous WANs were developed, including public packet networks, large corporate networks, military networks, banking networks, stock exchange networks, and reservation networks for airlines.

WAN enabling entities that use the Internet Protocol are known as Net Service Providers (NSPs). These make up the centre of the Internet.

A global communication network is created by linking the NSP WANs together using links at Internet Packet Interchanges (sometimes called “peering points”).

WANs (extensive area networks) typically use specific networking hardware and is often costlier than LANs (Local Area Networks). Key technologies (extensive area networks) frequently used in WANs include SONET, Frame Relay, and ATM.

MAN (Metropolitan Area Networks): 

MAN is one of the types of networks that stands for Metropolitan Area Networks. A MAN is a relatively new network class. MAN is broader than a local area network and, as its name implies, encompasses a single town area.

MANs seldom reach beyond 100 KM and often require a mix of different equipment and transmission devices. It can be a single network, like a cable TV network, or it can be a way to connect a number

A MAN may be created as a single net, such as Cable TV Network, covering the entire city or a group of several Local Area Networks (LANs). This allows resource sharing from LAN to LAN as well as from computer to computer. MANs are usually owned by large organizations to interconnect their different divisions throughout a region.

MAN is based on the standard IEEE 802.6, known as DQDB (Distributed Queue Dual Bus). DQDB uses two unidirectional cables (buses) and links all the computers to those two buses. Each bus has a specialized system that initiates the operation for transmission.

This system is known as head end. In the upper bus, data to be sent to the device on the sender’s right-hand side is transmitted. Information to be sent to the sender’s left-hand side is carried on the lower bus.

Safety and standardization are the two most critical elements of MANs. Security is crucial because dissimilar systems exchange information.

A MAN typically interconnects a variety of local area networks using high-capacity backbone infrastructure, such as fibre-optical cables, which offers up-link services to extensive area networks and the Internet.

WLANs-Wireless Local Area Networks: 

WLANs (Wireless Local Area Networks or sometimes LAWN for Local Wireless Area Networks) offers short-range wireless net connectivity using radio or infrared signals instead of conventional network cabling. WLANs (Wireless Local Area Networks) is one where a mobile user can link to a Local Area Network (LAN) via a wireless network.

So, What’s next? Let’s read about What is Cloud Computing?

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