Computer Networking | Introduction

A computer network is a group of two or more interconnected computer systems which uses set of common communication protocols for sharing resources located on or provided by network nodes.

You can establish a network connection using either cable or wireless media.


Every network involves hardware and software that connects computers and tools.

Advantages of Computer Network:

  • Can be used to connect with multiple computers together to send and receive information when accessing the network.

  • Can share printers, scanners, fax, email, etc.

  • Share information at high speed.

Its Components:


Routers: It enables you to share a single internet connection with multiple devices and save money. It automatically selects the best route for data to travel and send it on its way.


Switches: It works as a controller which connects computers, printers and other hardware devices across the network whether in a campus or a building.


Servers: They are computers that hold shared programs, files and the network OS. It allows access to its resources to all the users of the network.


Clients: They are computer devices which access and uses the network as well as shares network resources. They can send and receive requests from the server.


Transmission media: This 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.


Network Interface card: It sends, receives data, and controls data flow between the computer and the network.


Local Operating System: A local OS which helps personal computers to access files, print to a local printer and uses one or more disk and CD drives which are located on the computer.


Access points: It 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: It is the data which is shared between the clients such as data files, printer access programs, and email.


Network operating system: It is a program which runs on computers and servers. It allows the computers to communicate via network.


Protocol: It is the 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: It is a device that splits network connection into multiple computers. It acts 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.


LAN Cable: It is also called as Ethernet or data cable. It is used for connecting a device to the internet.


OSI: It stands for Open Systems Interconnection. It is a reference model which allows you to specify standards for communications.

Unique Identifiers of Network:


Host name: Every device of the network is associated with a unique device called hostname.


IP Address: Internet Protocol is as a unique identifier for each device on the internet. Length of the IP address is 32-bits. IPv6 address is 64 bits.


DNS Server: It stands for Domain Name System. It is a server which translates URL or web addresses into their corresponding IP addresses.


MAC Address: Media Access Control Address (MAC) 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: It is a logical channel which allows network users to send or receive data to an application. Every host can have multiple applications running. Each of these applications are identified using the port number on which they are running.

Uses of Computer Networks:

  • Can share resources such as printers.

  • Allows you to share expensive software's and database among network participants

  • Provides fast and effective communication from one pc to another.

Disadvantages of Using Computer Networks:

  • Computer network helps you to share expensive software's and database among network participants

  • The biggest drawback of installing computer network is that its initial 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

Happy Coding!


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