Networks can be divided into two types with respect to how data is stored, how network security is administered, and how the computers on the network interact. The two types are:

  1. Peer-To-Peer (P2P) Network: When computers are connected on a network, each computer functions as a server that shares data and services, or as a client that utilizes data or services on another computer. Security parameters are established by the computer’s owner and that owner/user also selects which resources are to be shared with other users. A network is typically made up of 15 and 20 computers.
  2. A Server/Client Network: Also called Server networks, they’re made up of one or more dedicated computers configured as servers. This server administers access to all shared files and peripherals. The server operates the Network Operating System (NOS), handles security and access to resources. Computers in this network, called client computers, connect to access available resources. Some common Network Operating Systems include Microsoft’s Windows NT Server 4, Windows 2000 Server, and Novell’s NetWare. Before the release of Windows NT, most dedicated servers worked only as hosts. Windows NT allows these servers to operate as an individual workstation as well.

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