Network

A network is defined as a group of two or more computer systems linked together. There are many types of computer networks, including the following:

NETWORK CHARACTERISTICS

In addition to these types, the following characteristics are also used to categorize different types of networks:

Computers on a network are sometimes called nodes. Computers and devices that allocate resources for a network are called servers.

Image: Network Topology diagram

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

Network topologies

Network topology describes how a network is arranged physically and logically. This description includes how links and nodes are connected in relation to each other. There are many varieties of network topologies including:

  • Bus: Each computer and network device is connected to a single cable or backbone.
  • Star: Every host device is connected to one central host.
  • Ring: Each network device connects to exactly two other network devices, which forms a single continuous pathway for signals to move through each device, like a ring.
  • Mesh: Each network device is connected in a way where each device distributes data amongst each other.
  • Tree: Each computer device is connected like branches on a tree; it is a combination of bus and star network topology.

Public vs. private networks

There are two types of networks one can connect to. This includes private and public networks. A public network is a type of network in which anyone who has access to and through it can connect to the internet. A private network involves restrictions that are established to promote a secured environment. Some things to note when it comes to public and private networks include:

  • Private networks require a password, most public networks do not
  • Some public networks (like hotels or businesses) require a web login for authentication
  • Public networks (like at airports and cafes) should be used with caution and a VPN

Examples of network devices

    • Internet-enabled devices such as laptops, smartphones, gaming consoles, printers, smart home devices
    • Servers are pieces of computer hardware or software that provides functionality for other programs or devices
    • Firewalls monitor and filter incoming and outgoing network traffic based on a business’s previously established security policies
    • Bridges connect two LANs and controls data flow between them
    • Switches learn which machine is connected to its port by using its IP address
    • Repeaters amplify received input signals to a higher frequency domain, so it is reusable and scalable
    • Hubs are physical layer networking devices used to connect multiple devices in a network
    • Modems are small boxes that connect your devices to the internet using cables
    • Routers are devices that forward data packets between computer networks
    • NICs, or network interface cards, provide computers with a dedicated, full-time connection to a network
Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

Related Articles

Phishing

What is phishing? Phishing is a type of cybercrime in which victims are contacted by email, telephone, or text message by an attacker posing as...

Photo Editing Software

Photo editing software is used to manipulate or enhance digital images. This category of software ranges from basic apps, which are able to apply...

SOHO Business Solutions: Free Email Marketing Services

Just like big businesses, SOHO (small office/home office) owners can leverage email marketing systems to communicate with customers, partners and employees. Just like big businesses,...

Fintech

Fintech, also known as "financial technology," is a term used to describe companies that use innovative technology to create more efficient, transparent, and cost-effective...

ScalaHosting

ScalaHosting is a leading managed hosting provider that offers secure, scalable, and affordable...

HRIS

Human resources information system (HRIS) solutions help businesses manage multiple facets of their...

Best Managed Service Providers...

In today's business world, managed services are more critical than ever. They can...