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Introduction To Computer Networks

Modern world scenario is ever changing. Data Communication and network have changed the way business and other daily affair works. Now, they highly rely on computer networks and inter network.

A set of devices often mentioned as nodes connected by media link is called a Network.

A node can be a device which is capable of sending or receiving data generated by other nodes on the network like a computer, printer etc. These links connecting the devices are called .

Computer Networks: Performance

It can be measured in the following ways:

  • Transit time : It is the time taken to travel a message from one device to another.
  • Response time : It is defined as the time elapsed between enquiry and response.

Other ways to measure performance are :

  1. Efficiency of software
  2. Number of users
  3. Capability of connected hardware

Properties of a Good Network

  1. Interpersonal Communication: We can communicate with each other efficiently and easily. Example: emails, chat rooms, video conferencing etc, all of these are possible because of computer networks.
  2. Resources can be shared: We can share physical resources by making them available on a network such as printers, scanners etc.
  3. Sharing files, data: Authorised users are allowed to share the files on the network.

Data Communication

The exchange of data between two devices through a transmission medium is called Data Communication. The data is exchanged in the form of 0’s and 1’s. The transmission medium used is wire cable. For data communication to occur, the communication device must be a part of a communication system.

Components of Data Communication

  1. Message: It is the information to be delivered.
  2. Sender: Sender is the person who is sending the message.
  3. Receiver: Receiver is the person to whom the message is being sent to.
  4. Medium: It is the medium through which the message is sent. For example: A Modem.
  5. Protocol: These are some set of rules which govern data communication.

Local Area Network

A Local Area Network (LAN) is a network that is confined to a relatively small area. It is generally limited to a geographic area such as a writing lab, school, or building.

Computers connected to a network are broadly categorized as servers or workstations. Servers are generally not used by humans directly, but rather run continuously to provide “services” to the other computers (and their human users) on the network. Services provided can include printing and faxing, software hosting, file storage and sharing, messaging, data storage and retrieval, complete access control (security) for the network’s resources, and many others.

Wide Area Network

Wide Area Networks (WANs) connect networks in larger geographic areas, such as Florida, the United States, or the world. Dedicated transoceanic cabling or satellite uplinks may be used to connect this type of global network.

Using a WAN, schools in Florida can communicate with places like Tokyo in a matter of seconds, without paying enormous phone bills. Two users a half-world apart with workstations equipped with microphones and a webcams might teleconference in real time. A WAN is complicated. It uses multiplexers, bridges, and routers to connect local and metropolitan networks to global communications networks like the Internet. To users, however, a WAN will not appear to be much different than a LAN.

Types of networking

There are two primary types of computer networking: wired networking and wireless networking.

Wired networking requires the use of a physical medium for transport between nodes. Copper-based Ethernet cabling, popular due to its low cost and durability, is commonly used for digital communications in businesses and homes. Alternatively, optical fiber is used to transport data over greater distances and at faster speeds, but it has several tradeoffs, including higher costs and more fragile components.

Wireless networking uses radio waves to transport data over the air, enabling devices to be connected to a network without any cabling. Wireless LANs are the most well-known and widely deployed form of wireless networking. Alternatives include microwave, satellite, cellular and Bluetooth, among others.

As a general rule, wired networking offers greater speed, reliability and security compared to wireless networks; wireless networking tends to provide more flexibility, mobility and scalability.

 

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