During the 20th century, the key of topology has been information gathering processing and distribution. Among other developments, we have been the installation worldwide telephone networks the birth and unexpected growth of computer industry, and the launching of communication satellites.

As we entered in 21thcentury, these areas are rapidly converging. The merging of computers and communication has had a deep influence on the way of computer system are organized. The old model of single computer serving all the organization needs is rapidly being replaced by one which a large numbers of separate but interconnected computers do the job. These systems are called computer networks.

What is Network:

A network is a collection of computer devices (like; desktop, laptop, smartphone, console etc.) servers, mainframes, network devices (like; hub, router, firewall etc.), peripherals devices or other devices connected to one another allowing to distribute and/or shear data and used information. A suitable example of a network is the World Wide Web (www)/ internet that successfully enable to connecting millions all over the world together. In simple words network is a term where two or more digital devices (like; computer systems, smart phone, tablets, laptops etc.)are interconnected and they are capable of exchanging information.

block diagram of network
block diagram of network

Types of Network:

With respect of the range of exchanging of information among digital devices there are five types of Networks;

  1. Local Area Network (LAN): In this type of network computer devices are geographically connected close together that is in the same room, building.
  2. Metropolitan Area Network(MAN): In this type of network computer devices network designed for a town or city.
  3. Wide Area Network(WAN): In wide area network computer devices are father apart and/or connected by telephone lines or radio waves.
  4. Campus Area Network (CAN): In this network computer devices are within a limited geographic area, such as a campus or military base.
  5. Home Area Network (HAN): In this network the range of network contained within a user’s home that connects a person’s digital devices.
  6. Personal Area Network (PAN): PAN support a network in which a computer network organized around an individual person. It is typically involved a mobile computer, a cell phone and/or a handheld computing device such as a PDA.
  7. Enterprise Private Network (EPN): This network helps enterprise companies with a number of disparate offices connect those offices to each in a secure way over a network. Mainly this network set up to shear connected computer resources.
  8. Backbone Networks (BBN): This network is a larger transmission line that carries data gathered from smaller lines that interconnect with it.
  9. Global Area Network (GAN): It composed of different interconnected networks (like; terminals, LANs etc.) that cover an unlimited geographical area.

Note: Generally network is also the name of an icon and section in Microsoft windows that allows users to browse other available resources on their network.

Network Characteristics:

These following types of network characteristics also used to categorize the types of network.

Network topology: Network topology is the geometric arrangement of computer systems. In practically highly used topology are Bus topology, Star topology, Ring topology, mesh topology etc.

Network Protocol: A Network protocol defines a common set of rules and signals for computer systems on the network use to communication. Highly preferred network protocol in real time environment is LAN, sometimes called Ethernet. Another popular LAN protocol for personal computers is the IBM token-ring network.

Network Architecture: Network architecture can be broadly classified as using either a peer-to-peer or client/server architecture.

Need of Network:

Network Goals:Many organizations already have a substantial number of computers, often located far apart. In general we can refer to it as: – Resource sharing, reliability, cost factor and communication medium.

Application of Network: Computer networks have made a major impact on the society as whole but we will discuss only the important ones. Sharing, access to remote database, communication facility.

Evolution of Networking: 

  1. APRANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network)
  3. NSFNET (National Science Foundation network)
  4. CSNET (Computer Science Network)

CREN (Corporation for research and educational networking)


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