What is a Computer Network? 

For those who are unfamiliar with  the world of computer networks, it  is important to know in principle that  one of the first computer networks to be used in packet switching was developed in the mid-sixties by the ArpaNet company,  after which it was established that the first message sent through this platform took place on October 29, 1969. This is known  as the precursor of what we know today as the Internet. Computer Network and Internet components of network computer network example application of computer network advantages of network

Now, let’s get to know how computer networks work. As we well know, with our computer we can perform the most diverse tasks, and as we add peripherals, including printers, scanners, modems and others, the functionalities of our PC expand even more. Computer Network and Internet application of computer network

Having this concept of communication between a computer and its peripherals,  we can get a little closer to the concept of computer networks , since ultimately a computer network is a set of PCs that are connected to each other through different elements,  that is, they can be connected by cables, optical fibers, wireless links or others. computer network example application of computer network

Each of these computers are separately known as “nodes”,  and their connection with other computers causes the formation of a computer network,  in which all the computers that compose it can communicate with each other to carry out an exchange of data. computer network example application of computer network

So,  basically a computer network is nothing more than a set of computers,  also including servers, network devices, peripherals, and other devices connected to each other,  which have the particularity that when connected they can exchange data. application of computer network

The best example of what a computer network is today is the Internet , a platform that allows millions of people around the world to connect and exchange data. application of computer network

Objective of a computer network

It is important to note here  that computer networks must respect certain established rules,  and at the same time all the devices that make up a network must also respect certain rules,  which are called protocols.  This allows  computers on a computer network to communicate with each other simultaneously.

In this way we can connect, for example, without inconvenience to the network of networks, the Internet, for which our computer must follow a series of protocols,  which we do not see, in order to have access to the Internet. With this we can access the millions of web pages that exist,  which are ultimately files stored on other computers ,  which are called servers,  and which are distributed throughout the network.

Of course, accessing files does not imply that through the internet we can have access to the personal files that other people store on their computers,  since everything related to computers that act as servers, as well as protocols, works here. computer security. advantages of network

For this reason,  everything that refers to permissions and security are fundamental elements for the creation of networks,  since basically we cannot have access to files and share resources if we do not have the permission to do so. advantages of network

So, when we talk about personal computers,  when they are connected to the internet they use what are called outgoing connections,  that is, they allow access to other computers, which are the servers,  but not to enter the personal PC of the person who is connected,  since that incoming connections are blocked.

However, these days we have frequently heard the word hacking,  which is nothing more than unauthorized people who evade security and access computer networks and computers  to which they should not have access. To avoid this, it is extremely important to use software that allows us to protect our computer every time we connect to the internet. advantages of network

The first thing to clarify here is that for a computer network  to exist, there must be nodes that are connected to each other , either temporarily or permanently. One of the most widely used methods for this today is wireless connections,  used mainly in home networks. advantages of network

In this way,  computers or nodes can connect and communicate with each other,  through computer networks, in order to exchange data, which is ultimately the main goal of current computer networks.

The truth is that without knowing it, every time we surf the internet, enter Facebook, or use an online application to, for example, listen to music,  we are making our computer connect to one of the largest computer networks.  In addition, when we do this with our smartphone or tablet, the same thing happens,  since in this case the smartphone fulfills the same role as our PC. advantages of network

Components of a computer network

As we have seen, in computer networks, the computers that compose them can share devices, functions and characteristics,  including servers, clients, transmission media, data, printers, among a great variety of hardware resources. and software. advantages of network

To be able to set up a computer network it is then necessary to have a series of components ,  and the truth is that the larger a network is, the more elements it will need to function efficiently.

For example,  if we need to set up a home internet computer network, we will need to cover the entire spectrum the use of certain elements such as  Wi-Fi signal repeaters and amplifiers.

Now, let’s see roughly  what are the essential components that a computer network should have.

Components of a network: Servers

These are  computers on which shared files, programs, and the network operating system are stored.  Through the servers, all users that are part of the network can have access to these resources. It should be noted that  there are different types of servers,  which can also have a series of specific functions, such as print servers.

Components of a network: Clients

These are precisely  the  computers that access the computer network and make use of the resources that are shared in it through the servers.  As an example we can mention that each of us are clients every time we connect to the internet.

Components of a network: Transmission media

Also known as channels, links or lines, transmission media  are the facilities that are used to interconnect computers within a computer network , the most common being twisted pair wire, coaxial cable, and fiber optic cable.

Components of a network: Shared data

As the name implies, shared data is data that file servers provide to clients, including for example data files, programs for accessing devices such as the printer or email, and so on.

Components of a network: Network interface card

To be able to connect to the computer network,  each of the computers must have a network interface card,  through which the data is sent and received, and at the same time  the data flow between the PC and the computer is controlled. the network .

Components of a network: Local operating system

The local operating system is what  allows our computers to access the files found on the servers and perform different tasks , such as being able to print a document through a shared local printer.

Components of a network: Network operating system

It is a program that runs on servers, and that  allows computers to communicate with servers through the computer network.

Components of a network: Router

This device makes  the connection between the internet and a LAN network possible.  Through the router,  computers can have access to the network, such as the Internet . There are currently two types of router, the one that uses cables and the wireless.

Components of a network: Switch

Basically it is a telecommunication device that comes to be like a hub,  and in this way collaborate in the connection between computers and routers.  In general, the switch connects the source with the destination directly, which allows increasing the speed of the computer network. In any case, it  should be clarified that it is not always necessary to use a switch and a router at the same time,  especially if it is a small network for the home or office.

Other elements that can be part of a computer network are the so-called Hubs, which are  devices that divide a network connection between multiple computers, such as if it were a distribution center, and at the same time a network can be composed of shared peripherals, as is the case with printers, scanners and others.

If you wish, you can find explanation about networks here.

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