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Networking and essentials

Updated on May 8, 2010

 What is a network? Network refers to an arrangement of things. For example, a state has a long network of roads. That means each part of the state is connected with network of roads. This is same to Computer networking. When a group of computers are said to be connected , it shows that these computers are connected with the means of communication settings. Technically in this system, the computer network refers not just to the computers but includes the softwarethat helps them to communicate and the transmission methods used in such communication. Therefore the networkingincludes the whole range of hardware and software components that make a computer network to operate. So, networking is the system which links several computers together to enable communication between these computers. This interconnection of software and hardware materials in the sustem is called Network.

Major Merits of Networking

  • Networking system allows people to share their files and documents among various systems in the network.
  • Networking system also allows hardware and software resources to share among various systems.
  • Moreover,Networking also allows an improved communication link between users in a network.

Types of Network
             Networks vary widely in their size,comlexity and geographical spread.The networking system can be classified on the basis of geographical spread.

  •  Local Area Network(LAN)
  • Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)
  • Wide Area Network(WAN)

    Local Area Network
                      A LAN is a group of computers and other devices distribuited over a limited area and connected by cables. Example: Computers in a school.

    Metropolitan Area Network
                     A MAN is a communication network that connects computers and other devices that are distribuited within the geographical boundaries of a city or town. Example: The railway reservation system in a city.

    Wide Area Network
                    A WAN is a communication network that connects geographically isolated areas such as countries or even continents. Majority of the WANs use satellites as their primary medium of transmissions. Example: The internet.

Components of a network
                    Components of a network can be classified into two categories logical components and physical components.

  • The Logical components of a network consist of the Networking Operating System(NOS) and the associated protocols.

  • The Physical components of a network comprise network adapter cards, cabling systems that connect the computers, telecommunication lines, satellites and hubs.

Network Operating System

The operating system that enables a computer to paticipate in a network is known as the Network Operating System. Some of the popular network operating systems are:

  • Variants of UNIX like IRIX, LInux, HP UNIX, and solaris
  • Novell Netware from Notwell
  • Windows NT from Microsoft

Network Protocols
                A protocol is a set of rules and convensions to be followed for sending and recieving information over the network. The set of rules governs the following:

  • The content of the information
  • The format in which the information will be sent
  • The timing and the sequence in which the information will be sent
  • The error control messages that are sent

                   In a network, these rules are implemented through a set of softwares. Some commonly used software for implementing these rules and conventions are:

  • Ethernet Protocol
  • Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol(TCP/IP)


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