A computer network consists of two or more computers that are linked in order to share resources such as printers and CD-ROMs, exchange files, or allow electronic communications. The computers on a computer network may be linked through cables, telephone lines, radio waves, satellites, or infrared light beams.
Computer network can be classified on the basis of following features :
By Scale: Computer networks may be classified according to the scale :
- Local Area Network (LAN)
- Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)
- Wide Area Network (WAN)
By Connection Method: Computer networks can also be classified according to the hardware technology that is used to connect the individual devices in the network such as Optical fibre, Ethernet, Wireless LAN.
By Functional Relationship (Network Architectures) : Computer networks may be classified according to the functional relationships which exist between the elements of the network. This classification also called computer architecture. There are two type of network architecture :
- Peer-to-Peer Architecture
By Network Topology: Network Topology signifies the way in which intelligent devices in the network see their logical or physical relations to one another. Computer networks may be classified according to the network topology upon which the network is based, such as :
- Bus Network
- Star Network
- Ring Network
- Mesh Network
- Star-Bus Network
- Tree or Hierarchical Topology Network
Advantages of Network
The following are the distinct notes in favor of computer network.
a. The computers, staff and information can be well managed
b. A network provides the means to exchange data among the computers and to make programs and data available to people
c. It permits the sharing of the resources of the machine
d. Networking also provides the function of back-up.
e. Networking provides a flexible networking environment. Employees can work at home by using through networks ties through networks into the computer at office.
Explain Network Services
1. Network services are the thing that a network can do. The major networking services are
2. File Services: This includes file transfer, storage, data migration, file update, synchronization and achieving.
3. Printing Services: This service produces shared access to valuable printing devices.
4. Message Services: This service facilitates email, voice mails and coordinate object oriented applications.
5. Application Services: This services allows to centralize high profile applications to increase performance and scalability
6. Database Services: This involves coordination of distributed data and replication.