What is Computer Network? Importance of Computer networking?

A network of computer, printer and scanner
A network of computer, printer and scanner

What is Computer Network?

The communication process involves—sender of information, receiver of information, language used for communication, and medium used to establish the communication. Communication between computers also follows a similar process. This chapter discusses the data communication and the computer networks. The section on data communication discusses the media used for transmission of data, how data can be transferred across the communication media and the relationship between data transmission and data networking. The section on computer network discusses different network types, network topologies, communication protocol and network communicating devices. A brief explanation of wireless networks is also provided.

 

2 IMPORTANCE OF NETWORKING:

Networking of computers provides a communication link between the users, and provides access to information. Networking of computers has several uses, described as follows:

  • Resource Sharing—In an organization, resources such as printers, fax machines and scanners are generally not required by each person at all times. Moreover, for small organizations it may not be feasible to provide such resources to each individual. Such resources can be made available to different users of the organization on the network. It results in availability of the resource to different users regardless of the physical location of the resource or the user, enhances optimal use of the resource, leads to easy maintenance, and saves cost too (Figure 9.1)

Sharing of Information—In addition to the sharing of physical resources, networking facilitates sharing of information. Information stored on networked computers located at same or different physical locations, becomes accessible to the computers connected to the network.

 

A network of computer, printer and scanner
A network of computer, printer and scanner

 

  • As a Communication Medium—Networking helps in sending and receiving of electronic-mail (e- mail) messages from anywhere in the world. Data in the form of text, audio, video and pictures can be sent via e-mail. This allows the users to communicate online in a faster and cost effective manner. Video conferencing is another form of communication made possible via networking. People in distant locations can hold a meeting, and they can hear and see each other simultaneously.
  • For Back-up and Support—Networked computers can be used to take back-up of critical data. In situations where there is a requirement of always-on computer, another computer on the network can take over in case of failure of one computer.
  • Sharing of Information—In addition to the sharing of physical resources, networking facilitates sharing of information. Information stored on networked computers located at same or different physical locations, becomes accessible to the computers connected to the network.
  • As a Communication Medium—Networking helps in sending and receiving of electronic-mail (e- mail) messages from anywhere in the world. Data in the form of text, audio, video and pictures can be sent via e-mail. This allows the users to communicate online in a faster and cost effective manner. Video conferencing is another form of communication made possible via networking. People in distant locations can hold a meeting, and they can hear and see each other simultaneously.
  • For Back-up and Support—Networked computers can be used to take back-up of critical data. In situations where there is a requirement of always-on computer, another computer on the network can take over in case of failure of one computer.

   Computer Network Types:

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