The Foundations of Computer Networking


What is a Computer Network?

Computer Network is a group of many computer devices interconnected with each other for the purpose of common communication protocols. Computer networking is basically the communication of devices electronically.


The most common example of a computer network is the INTERNET. It’s the largest Computer Network in the world.

Classification of Computer Networking

Many criteria’s decide the classification of computer networks such as

Common Uses of Computer Networking

Sharing of information by electronic interpersonal communication depends on various technologies like

  1.  Emails
  2.  Instant messaging
  3. Online chat
  4. Voice and video telephone calls
  5. Video conferencing. etc.

Function of Computer Networking System

The need for this network system is wide because of building a cohesive architecture system. Thus, architectural usage allows many different types of equipment to transfer information in a near-seamless fashion. Two popular architectures are by IBM and ISO.

Open System Interconnections (OSI) By ISO and System Network Architecture (SNA) by IBM.

First Computer Network?

ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) was the first-ever computer network. It made available for use, in the 1960s. Also to keep in mind, ARPANET is the direct predecessor of the modern internet. Moreover, Packet Switching was the method used for distributing data over a network, used on ARPANET.

Types of Networks

Examples of most basic types of network are

LAN (Local Area Network)

Local area network includes connection of computers in the smaller geographical area such as a building or office, house or a school. Transmission of data is through wires, ethernet cables, fibre optics, wifi.

WAN (Wide Area Network)

Wide area network consists of a larger geographical area including many local area networks. WAN can link the computers and enable transmission of data by means of cables, optical fibres, or satellites. Internet is the largest wide area network.

DCN (Data Centre Network)

DCN includes the interconnection of many different devices such as routers, switches, interfaces. Moreover, It connects different units in a data center resource pool. It ensures high-level performance and the exchange of data with little delay.

MAN (Metropolitan Area Network)

Government agencies use this network type to connect citizens with private industries. Its the interconnection of different LAN’s to form a large network. But metropolitan network has higher range than local area networks. For example., it can be the connection between various banks within a particular city.

PAN (Personal Area Network)

A network arranges within a range of 10 meters. It’s the connection of a computing device for personal use. THOMAS ZIMMERMAN introduced the concept of PAN. Devices included in PAN may be laptops, mobile phones, media players, and play stations.

Network Topologies

It’s the layout or pattern of connected devices in terms of a geometric graph. Network topologies can affect throughput, describing how many connections a device has. Typical network configurations include the following

Bus topology

In bus topology, all the devices are connected to a single main cable. And drop lines form this connection with main cable.. Then TAP device connects all the drop lines to main cable. Bus topology requires less cables and its easy to install. But in case of fault in line, the detection is very difficult.

Mesh topology 

In this type of topology, the devices are connected to each and every other devices in a point to point linkage. It’s more reliable than bus topology as the fault in one connection doesn’t affect other devices’ communication or the entire network. Also, fault detection is quite easy. But this type of interconnection requires tons of cables and its quite expensive.

Ring topology

In this topology, the devices are installed in the form of rings. At one time, one device is connected to two devices. Thus, a device has two point to point links on both of its sides. As all the data is circulating in a ring, therefore data traffic issues are more common in this type of topology.

Star topology

In star topology, Hub is a single central device. Hub is a device to which all other devices are connected. Not any single device has a direct connection with others in this network. Suppose let’s say if device A wants to send data or some information to B, then it must send the data first to the Hub, then the hub is responsible for sending data to device B. Fault detection is quite easy. Also, it is easy to install as less cabling requires.

Tree topology 

In this type of topology, the devices are arranged in the form of branches of tree. Although a point to point connection can form between devices but its quite difficult to configure. Moreover, tree topology requires large cabling.

Hybrid topology

Its a combination of two or may be more than two topologies. For example., combination of star and mesh topologies becomes hybrid topology.

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