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What is a network


A network is any collection of independent computers that communicate with one another over a shared network medium. A computer network is a collection of two or more connected computers. When these computers are joined in a network, people can share files and peripherals such as modems, printers, tape backup drives, or CD-ROM drives. When networks at multiple locations are connected using services available from phone companies, people can send e-mail, share links to the global Internet, or conduct video conferences in real time with other remote users. When a network becomes open sourced it can be managed properly with online collaboration software. As companies rely on applications like electronic mail and database management for core business operations, computer networking becomes increasingly more important.

Every network includes:

  • At least two computers Server or Client workstation.
  • Networking Interface Card's (NIC)
  • A connection medium, usually a wire or cable, although wireless communication between networked computers and peripherals is also possible.
  • Network Operating system software, such as Microsoft Windows NT or 2000, Novell NetWare, Unix and Linux.

A computer network, or simply a network, is a collection of computers and other hardware components interconnected by communication channels that allow sharing of resources and information. Where at least one process in one device is able to send/receive data to/from at least one process residing in a remote device, then the two devices are said to be in a network. Simply, more than one computer interconnected through a communication medium for information interchange is called a computer network.

Networks may be classified according to a wide variety of characteristics, such as the medium used to transport the data, communications protocol used, scale, topology, and organizational scope.

Communications protocols define the rules and data formats for exchanging information in a computer network, and provide the basis for network programming. Well-known communications protocols include two Ethernet, a hardware and link layer standard that is ubiquitous in local area networks, and the Internet protocol suite, which defines a set of protocols for internetworking, i.e. for data communication between multiple networks, as well as host-to-host data transfer, and application-specific data transmission formats.