Can you imagine a world now without emails, online newspapers, blogs, chat and the other services offered by the internet? Very hard, isn’t it.
Actually having a well-established network has become an important part of our lives. And networking in computers and devices is vital for sharing and communication. So, let’s see the concept and fundamentals of Computer network.
What is Network
When more than one independent devices are connected or interconnected in order to share the resources, exchange files or to have a communication, then it is called a network.
In general,the devices can be connected via medium which can be a wired or wireless medium and device on the network can be thought of as a node;each node has a unique address.
Every Computer Network includes:
- At least two computers server or client workstation.
- Networking Interface card’s(NIC)
- A connection medium, usually a wire or cable or wireless.
- Network Operating system software, such as Microsoft windows NT, Novell NetWare, Unix and Linux.
Types of network
Local Area Network(LAN)
- connects devices in a short distance, like within a building.
Wide Area Network(WAN)
- connects devices across large Geographical area, such as communication between different countries.
Metropolitan Area Network(MAN)
- data network designed for a town or city.
Storage Area Network (SAN)
- network designed to share the storage area to multiple devices.
Virtual Private Network(VPN)
- uses tunneling technique to transfer data securely on the internet.
Categories of Computer Network
In peer-to-peer networking there are no dedicated servers or hierarchy among the computers. Normally each computers are equal and serves as Client/Server.It is a good choice for needs of small organizations.
The client/server model is basically an implementation of distributed or cooperative processing. The client/server network is the most efficient way to provide:
- database and management of applications such as spreadsheets.
- network management.
- centralized file storage.
A Network Topology refers to a virtual layout or an arrangement of devices in the network.So in order to establish the network we have five basic topologies i.e.,
- each node(computer,server,peripheral etc.) attaches directly to a common cable.
- it features a logically closed loop in which each network device acts as a repeater i.e.,regenerates the signal.
- each node has a dedicated set of wires connecting it to a central network hub.
- combination of bus and star topology.
- nodes connect directly, dynamically and non-hierarchically to as many other nodes as possible.
These are standards that allow computers to communicate.
A protocol defines:
- how computers identify one another on a network.
- the form that the data should take in transit.
- procedures for handling lost or damaged transmissions.
Protocols are designed based on a layered architecture such as the OSI reference model.
Main network protocols are
- TCP/IP(Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol)
- IPX/SPX(Internetwork Package Exchange/Sequenced Packet Exchange)
- NetBEUI(NetBIOS Extended User Interface)
- FTP(File Transfer Protocol)
- HTTP(Hyper Text Transfer Protocol)
- NFS(Network File Services)
- SMTP(Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)