Two or more electronic devices such as mobile phones, computers, etc. get connected to each other to share data, this arrangement is called a network. Using computer networks we can have any kind of data exchange such as email, audio, video, etc.
A lot of devices are included in this network that helps us to have good communication. But, what are data communication and networking?
The sharing of information or data between sender and receiver is called data communication. Whereas networking also has the same meaning but it is used in a broader way. All the data is sent or received to the computers in the form of a signal.
Types of Network
There are various types of networks, among them commonly used ones are given below:
PAN: It stands for Personal Area Network. It is a basic network where mobile phones, one or two computers, tabs, printers, etc are connected. These types of networks are used in places where communication is managed by a single person. The range of communication is within ten metres. For example, Bluetooth.
LAN: It stands for Local Area Network. A group of computers along with the peripheral devices connected can share a common way of communication. It is installed in the places where it can be used by 3 to 4 users. The range of communication can vary from one to five kilometres. For example, WiFi at home or offices.
MAN: It stands for Metropolitan Area Network. A computer network that connects the devices in town, city, or any area. It is larger than the personal area network and smaller than the wide-area network. The range of communication can vary from five to 50 kilometres. For example, broadband connection for houses in a street.
Services Provided by the Internet
Some of the services related to the exchange of information are:
Advantages and Disadvantages of Computer Network
Pros and Cons of Online Learning
Components of a Network
The components of a network can be divided into two sections:
1. Hardware Components:
Server: It is a device that can manage the network sources.
Transmission Media: It is the communication channel or way through which data is communicated.
Connecting Devices: These are the devices that help to connect the computers to each other.
Routers: These devices help to get a network connection to the computers.
Bridge: It helps to connect two or more LANs.
Repeaters: If the data has to be sent to longer distances then repeaters can help to increase the strength of the signal.
Gateway: It helps to transfer the data from one network to the other.
Hubs: It is a node or a point that can connect multiple computers.
Switches: It helps to connect multiple devices. It takes data from hubs and sends it to routers and vice versa.
2. Software Components:
Characteristics of a Network
Geographic distribution: There are different kinds of networks that can be used based on the area or distance of communication. Example: LAN, WAN, MAN.
Rate of data transfer: Data can be transferred between different devices without any delay or without stopping.
Communication link: The way or media used to transmit the data plays a very important role in the process of communication.
Security: Sharing some personal information can be risky hence the protection of the same is required.
Scalability of the devices: In case if the number of the connecting devices has to be increased then the process of communication should not be disturbed.
Backup: While transferring the data if any disturbances occur like power off or slow internet in such cases the data shared cannot be lost hence it has to be stored.
Networks are the most important part of technology, in fact without a network there would be no technology. Even though it is ruling the world there are both pros and cons related to it.
Learning by Doing
1. From the image given below, have you ever wondered why a bridge in the computer network is used?
2. Identify the type of network.