What is a Computer Network?

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What is a Computer Network?

A computer network is a group of computers (hosts/nodes) and a group of computer peripherals connected via a transmission media and connecting devices. In this lesson you will learn more about a computer network and what all the moving parts within a network are responsible for.

 

Computer Types

  • Personal Computers (PCs)
    • Desktop Computer
  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • Smart Mobile Phones
  • Embedded Systems in Machines
    • Internet of Things (IoT)
      • Allows things/machines to exchange information between each other in order to offer a certain service required by human users

 

Computer Peripherals

  • Hardware connected to computer – the following can be directly connected to the computer network and be part of the network to act as sources and destinations of data being transferred
    • Printers
    • Scanners
    • Storage Media
  • Cloud Computing and Data Center – the following can be seen as connected through transmission media in a local network inside the center to offer a certain type of service required by the computer user
    • Servers
    • Storage Devices
    • Managing Terminals
    • Offers several types of services

 

Transmission Media

  • Wired (Cables)
    • Copper
      • Coaxial Cables
      • Twisted Pair Cables – shielded [STP]/Unshielded [UTP]
    • Fiber Optic – does not transmit electricity, it transmits light
      • Single Made
      • Multi-mode
  • Wireless
    • Used air as Transmission Media
    • Frequency Band
    • Area of Coverage

 

Network Benefits and Services

  • Resources Sharing
    • Hardware resources – one device can be shared across many users. Hardware resources saves cost and time.
      • Computer Peripherals
      • Printers/scanners
      • Storage Media
      • Processors
    • Software Resources
      • File Sharing
      • Databases
      • Applications
        • Example: a game that can be used by several users over the internet
  • Services
    • Browsing and E-mail
    • Voice Calls and Video Conferences

 

Basic Network Elements

  • End Devices
    • Communicating devices with each other (Send/Receive)
  • Connecting Devices
    • Switches, routers, and access points
      • Not meant to be sources or destinations of information but rather act as transferring entities for the information to help or facilitate the moving process of information across the network
  • Medium
    • Distinguishes how elements are connected
      • Wireless or wired
  • Messages
    • Information travelling through network
  • Protocols
    • Rules governing how information is transferred
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