Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » N »

network

(n.) A network is a group of two or more computer systems linked together. There are many types of computer networks, including:

  • local-area networks (LANs) : The computers are geographically close together (that is, in the same building).
  • wide-area networks (WANs) : The computers are farther apart and are connected by telephone lines or radio waves.
  • campus-area networks (CANs): The computers are within a limited geographic area, such as a campus or military base.
  • metropolitan-area networks MANs): A data network designed for a town or city.
  • home-area networks (HANs): A network contained within a user's home that connects a person's digital devices.
  • computer network diagram
    In addition to these types, the following characteristics are also used to categorize different types of networks:

  • topology : The geometric arrangement of a computer system. Common topologies include a bus, star, and ring. See the Network topology diagrams in the Quick Reference section of Webopedia.
  • protocol : The protocol defines a common set of rules and signals that computers on the network use to communicate. One of the most popular protocols for LANs is called Ethernet. Another popular LAN protocol for PCs is the IBM token-ring network .
  • architecture : Networks can be broadly classified as using either a peer-to-peer or client/server architecture.
  • Computers on a network are sometimes called nodes. Computers and devices that allocate resources for a network are called servers.

    (v.) To connect two or more computers together with the ability to communicate with each other.

    Top 5 Network Questions

    1. What is network software?
    2. What is network computer?
    3. What is network management?
    4. What is network security?
    5. What is local-area network (LAN)?

    Related Webopedia Articles

    All About Peer-To-Peer (P2P) Networks
    What Makes a Virtual Private Network Private?
    All About Network Access Controls
    How to Network Your Files With NFS







    TECH RESOURCES FROM OUR PARTNERS
    DID YOU KNOW?
    What You Don't Read Can Hurt You

    Does this sound familiar? An online service promises to help your small business cut costs, increase productivity, make your coffee and walk your... Read More »

    Who's Moving Ahead in Cloud Computing?

    The future remains, well, cloudy. But either way: Amazon, look out. Microsoft is gaining fast. Read More »

    We Can't Give Up on Privacy!

    Even new and emerging technologies that can make our lives easier, safer and healthier can jeopardize our privacy. Read More »

    QUICK REFERENCE
    Webopedia Polls

    The trend for the past two years has been for shoppers to spend more online during the holiday season. How do you typically shop for holiday... Read More »

    How to Create a Desktop Shortcut to a Website

    This Webopedia guide will show you how to create a desktop shortcut to a website using Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer (IE). Read More »

    Flash Data Storage Vendor Trends

    Although it is almost impossible to keep up with the pace of ongoing product releases, here are three recent highlights in the flash data storage... Read More »