Computer networking is a linking of the network devices and computers with each other to provide the data communications and sharing the network resources such as printer, scanner, modem, CD/DVD and internet access. A computer network can be interconnected with the UTP/STP cables, coaxial cables, fiber optics and wirelessly through the radio waves. Today, no business can work effectively without the data communications within the organization. A network can be designed by different layouts known as topologies.
The common topologies include star, hub, mesh, hybrid and ring. Star topology is the most common topology in Ethernet based local area network. There are specialized rules and standards and based on these standards, the devices communicate with each other.
One of these specialized standards and agree up ways is known as protocols. TCP/IP is the protocol suite that contains the multiple communication protocols such as TCP, IP, SMTP, FTP, DHCP, LDAP, PPP, Telnet and many others. TCP/IP works together and it is the most common communication protocol for the LAN, WAN and internet. The communications on the internet is based on the IP addresses, which is a part of the TCP/IP stack. No computer on the internet or in the LAN/MAN/WAN can communicate without a unique IP address.
Networking and data communications provides the flexibility, easy of work and communications with each other and today every kind of business in the world, which involves more than one computer, require a computer network. A network can be setup by using the following things.
- Computer with Windows/Linux operating system installed.
- Every computer requires a unique LAN card, which should be properly installed and configured.
- Ethernet cable with the RJ-45 connectors at both ends.
- A Router/Switch or hub.
The other devices are bridges, transceivers, terminal servers and gateways and they can be setup according to your requirements.
There are three main types of the computer network i.e. LAN, MAN, WAN, CAN, GAN and PAN and each network either be a peer to peer or client server network. In a client/server network model, a centralized domain controller is used to control all the computer network. It provides the services to the clients like logon authentication, printer access, scanner access, centralized data storage, user management, resources management, DHCP, DNS, FTP and internet access.
To communicate with the other computer, each computer should support the same protocol and the TCP/IP is the most commonly used protocol in a computer network. Internetwork is a type of computer network that connects the two or more different networks. There are three main types of the internetwork i.e. intranet, extranet and internet.