A simple explanation is that a Network is two computers connected to
share information, but of course we know it is often much more.
All networks start from this basic concept. Any device connected to the
network is called a “network device”. When several devices are
connected, they need a “hub”. When many devices are connected they
need routers and switches to handle the communication.
Each device is given an “address” usually called an “IP” address. This
is a numerical label. The IP Address serves two functions -host or
network interface identification and location addressing
Here are four computers connected:
When considering a Network, you probably
think about the Internet….
Definitions of internet on the Web:
•A computer network consisting of a worldwide network of computer networks
that use the TCP/IP network protocols to facilitate data transmission and
•The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use
the standard Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP) to serve billions of users
•Any set of computer networks that communicate using the Internet Protocol. (An
intranet.); The Internet, the largest global internet
•Often confused with the World Wide Web, the term Internet actually refers to
the combined collection of academic, commercial, and government networks
connected over international telecommunication backbones and routed using IP
A more in depth explanation of
determining the scope of a
Network involves the following:
Size - there are several types of networks, but
the most common are LANS and WANS.
A Local Area Network (LAN) covers a small physical area, like a home, office, or small
groups of buildings, such as a school.
Some of the characteristics of LANS are their higher data-transfer rates, smaller
geographic area, and they don’t need to lease telecommunication lines.
A Wide Area Network (WAN) is used to connect a LAN and other types of networks
together. The purpose of this so that the computers in one place can communicate with
computers in other locations.
For example in your school district they probably have a private WAN, but may have
another to provide a connection to the Internet.
What is Protocol?
Rules about appearance, speaking, listening and understanding
are considered the protocols of conversation. They represent
different layers of communication and together they help
people communicate successfully.
Protocols also apply to computers. Network
engineers have written rules for communication
that must be strictly followed for successful
Protocols are often called the Open System Interconnection
or “OSI Model” and they help define the implementation
of a networking framework
Topography is the “backbone” of a network
and the “map” of how the communication
between devices will flow
Types of Topography
Hardware - Computer networks
normally consists of three parts:
Clients: The user workstations and
peripherals (such as printers)
Infrastructure/Cables -The wires,
fiber optics, or transmission media
that the data moves through
Networking electronics: Devices that
move, route, and store data for users
These devices act like an Air Traffic Control Tower and the Controllers themselves
– they get the data and transmit the data and make sure that everything gets to it’s
destination in a timely and safe manner.
Cables – these are used transmit
data in the network
Examples of Networks and
the “topography” of their
devices – this may be how
your network works…..
Computer networks can be used for several purposes:
Facilitating communications. Using a network, people can communicate
efficiently and easily via email, instant messaging, chat rooms, telephone,
video telephone calls, and video conferencing.
Sharing hardware. In a networked environment, each computer on a
network may access and use hardware resources on the network, such
as printing a document on a shared network printer.
Sharing files, data, and information. In a network environment,
authorized user may access data and information stored on other
computers on the network. The capability of providing access to data and
information on shared storage devices is an important feature of many
Sharing software. Users connected to a network may run application
programs on remote computers.