What Is Computer Networking?

Computer networking involves connecting two or more computers so that they may exchange information through data connections. The Internet is a prime example of a computer network. Continue reading to find out more details about computer networking. Schools offering Cisco Network Systems degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Components of Computer Networking

Computer networks include hardware and software components which allow users to communicate and share information. Examples of software are protocols, links, and applications. Hardware includes hosts, servers, and routers. A disk drive, scanner, or printer may also be used as hardware. The Association for Computing Machinery states that the following conditions must apply for effective network operations:

  • Installation of drivers
  • Configuration of Internet protocol addresses
  • Naming of servers

Major Computer Network Types

The two main types of networks are local area networks (LAN) and wide area networks (WAN). The most basic type of network is a LAN, which will generally cover a small area like an office building or college campus. A WAN includes more area than a LAN and may connect multiple college campuses, businesses, or annexes in a particular area. A WAN, such as the Internet, is a large connection of LANs and involves going through some type of relay system, such as a server or other computer.

Wireless Networks

Wireless versions of the local area and wide area networks incorporate the use of a router, which provides protection and security for a network. These protocols were standardized throughout the industry by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Wireless networking via LAN or WAN typically allows connectivity from a radius of up to 300 feet from the signal.

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