A computer network is the practice of linking two or more computing devices together for the purpose of sharing data. Networks are built with a mix of computer hardware and computer software. This interconnected system will share services and interact through a communications link.
A computer network is very helpful in a business. Most of the time a business will have more than one computer set up and it often very beneficial to network all of the computers in the office. A local area network (LAN) will connect your companys computers. This will allow them to share and exchange different types of information. If you havent considered networking your office computers, listen to these reasons.
There are several types of computer networks. A computer network can be very simple, such as only connecting two computers or a computer and a printer, or it can be very complex, connecting millions of computers and devices. Here is a list of different computer network types.
The smallest type of network is a Personal Area Network (PAN). This type of computer network connects a computer to a number of devices. These devices may include, but are not limited to, printers, PDAs, and telephones. Usually these are located very close to a computer. A Local Area Network (LAN) is used to network a small geographical area. An example of this type of computer network is a home network with two or more computers or computers that are connected in a workplace. A version of a LAN is a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN).
A Campus Area Network (CAN) is ideal for a university but they are also found in industrial facilities. This type of computer network connects computers in a number of buildings. This is generally accomplished through bridging and routing. A Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) consists of any number of interconnected LANs and WANs but it will not extend certain boundaries, such as those of a town, city, or metropolitan area. Many of these are operated at public utilities and are used by businesses and individuals in the area.
A Wide Area Network (WAN) is a step up from a MAN. This type of computer network can cross metropolitan or even national boundaries. The best known WAN is the Internet. This computer network uses routers and public communication links to carry data. Many WANs are run by private companies and restricted, unlike the Internet. Although these are the MAN types of network that most users come across there are other computer networks ranging from as small as a Desktop Area Network (DAN) to a very large Global Area Network (GAN).