The basic concept of computer networking is having two or more computers connected together sharing information. The information shared can be files, printers, and programs. The size of a computer network largely depends on the user’s needs. If you are building a home network, then you will likely have one to three computers networked. In a large office, you may have as many as 100 or 200 computers networked together.
Types of Networks
There are different ways to perform computer networking. Wireless networks, or WLAN/WWAN, uses wireless technology to network computers together. This type of computer networking is becoming more popular for the home user. Using a router and a host computer, you can connect multiple computers in your house to the network. If one of those is a laptop, it’s possible to take that computer from room to room as you work. Local area networks, or LAN, are smaller networked areas. Local area networks usually have higher data transfer rates, and do not require special telecommunications services. Wide area networks, or WAN, connects a large group of computers together. These networks are typically designed for one organization’s use. Metropolitan area networks, or MAN, are networks that usually span the size of a city. They use fiber optic cables and are usually wireless. ATMs use metropolitan computer networking.
The OSI model, or Open Systems Interconnection Reference Model, is a type of computer networking that uses layered communication. The seven layers are arranged from bottom to top as: physical, data-link, network, transport, session, presentation, and application. The OSI Model was too complicated to be useful in today’s computer world. Even so, it is still often referenced by IT professionals when they are describing computer networking or network applications.
By setting up a computer network at home, or in your office, you can give multiple users access to files on the host computer. It’s also possible to have users able to share files between their computers. Printers and programs can also be shared among users on a computer network.
This is just a small view into the world of computer networking. Setting up a computer network in your home has never been easier. Today’s technology makes it possible with just a few simple steps.