Applications of Computer Networks
Applications of Computer Networks
A network is a collection or set of computing devices connected to one another to establish communication and also share available resources. A network will comprise of software and hardware devices. You can have a network even if you are not connected to the internet. Computer networks make it possible for people to transfer files from one place to another and to communicate taking the shortest time possible.
Computer network applications are network software applications that utilize the Internet or other network hardware infrastructure to perform useful functions for example file transfers within a network. They help us to transfer data from one point to another within the network.
There are 2 types of network applications:-
- Pure network applications
- Standalone network application
(A) Pure Network Applications
These are applications created to be used in networks; using pure network applications on a single computer doesn't make sense. They help us to transfer data and communicate within a network. Such applications have a separate and distinct user interface that users must learn for instance:-
1. Email programs
They allow users to type messages at their local nodes and then send to someone on the network. It is a fast and easy way of transferring mail from one computer to another. Examples of electronic mail programs (Clients) are:-
- Pegasus mail
- Outlook express
- Eudora Windows mail
- Fox mail
- Poco mail
- Mozilla Thunderbird
- Windows mail
2. File transfer protocol (FTP)
This application facilities transfer of files from one computer to another e.g. from a client to a server. There are 2 common processes involved in FTP
Downloading: - This is the process of obtaining files from a server to a workstation or a client (for example when you download programs and music from a server).
Uploading:- This is obtaining of files from a workstation to a server (for instance when you attach documents and upload them to a server, a good example being when you upload photos to Facebook).
Examples of FTP programs are:-
- FTP in Unix
- FTP in Linux or
- FTP in Windows
File Transfer Protocol Process
3. Terminal Emulation (TELNET)
It allows a workstation to access the server for an application program. This enables you to control the server and communicate with other servers on the network. The workstation appears as a down terminal that is directly attached to the server. The user feels like he/she is using the server directly. TELNET enables PCs and workstations to function as dumb terminals in sessions with hosts on inter-networks.
These applications are used to automate the administration functions of a modern office for instance video conferencing and chatting. They facilitate the work of groups and improve on their productivity; they can be used to communicate, co-operate, coordinate, solve problems, compete, negotiate among others.
(i) Video Conferencing
This is the process of conducting a conference between two or more participants at different sites by using computer networks to transmit audio and video data. For example, a point-to-point (two-person) video conferencing system works much like a video telephone.
Each participant has a video camera, microphone, and speakers mounted on his or her computer. As the two participants speak to one another, their voices are carried over the network and delivered to the others speakers, and whatever images appear in front of the video camera appear in a window on the other participant’s monitor.
It is a real-time communication between two users via computer. Once a chat has been initiated, either user can enter text by typing on the keyboard and the entered text will appear on the other user’s monitor. The two must be online for a chat to be initiated. Most networks, cybers and online services offer a chat feature which enables computer users to chat as they go on with their work.
(B) Stand Alone Applications
These are applications that run on stand alone computers (computers not connected to any other). In order to extend their activity, they are rebuild to run on network environments e.g. word processors, spreadsheets, database management systems, presentations graphics, project management etc. They function even when the computer is offline.
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© 2011 Patrick Kamau
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