A computer with minimal memory, disk storage and processor power designed to connect to a network, especially the Internet. The idea behind network computers is that many users who are connected to a network don't need all the computer power they get from a typical personal computer. Instead, they can rely on the power of the network servers.
This is really a variation on an old idea -- diskless workstations -- which are computers that contain memory and a processor but no disk storage. Instead, they rely on a server to store data. Network computers take this idea one step further by also minimizing the amount of memory and processor power required by the workstation. Network computers designed to connect to the Internet are sometimes called Internet boxes, Net PCs, and Internet appliances.
One of the strongest arguments behind network computers is that they reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO)-- not only because the machines themselves are less expensive than PCs, but also because network computers can be administered and updated from a central network server.
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free weekly newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
Webopedia's student apps roundup will help you to better organize your class schedule and stay on top of assignments and homework. Read More »List of Free Shorten URL Services
A URL shortener is a way to make a long Web address shorter. Try this list of free services. Read More »Top 10 Tech Terms of 2015
The most popular Webopedia definitions of 2015. Read More »
The Open System Interconnection (OSI) model defines a networking framework to implement protocols in seven layers. Use this handy guide to compare... Read More »Computer Architecture Study Guide
Webopedia's computer architecture study guide is an introduction to system design basics. It describes parts of a computer system and their... Read More »What Are Network Topologies?
Network Topology refers to layout of a network. How different nodes in a network are connected to each other and how they communicate is... Read More »