Computer Networks – Introduction

In the last section for this E-Classroom we will talk about computer networks. A computer network is formed by inter linking of many computers with the main goal of sharing information between them. Now that you have understood about the basic hardware and software which is required to make a computer work and the role played by each of the hardware and software components in a computer it will become easy for you to understand about computer networks.

How computers are connected together

There are two main methods using which computers are connected to each other

  1. Using Ethernet cables
  2. Using WiFi

The first method is by using wires and the second method is wireless.

When many computes are connected together in your lab or your office it is called a Local Area Network or LAN. When many computers are connected together from far off places it is called a Wide Area Network or WAN. Using a LAN is the first step to connect computers together. Multiple LAN’s come together to create a WAN.

Inside a network each computer is called a Node. A network is not just made up of computers. Some other special hardware like Routers, Switches, Hubs etc is required to make a network functional. There are different methods to connect computers together and these different methods are called network topologies. When communicating with each other in network computers sends and receives data using some pre-defined rules knows as protocols. These protocols define how the data will be structured, how two computers will identify each other, how the data will be transmitted and received etc. You will learn about network topologies and protocols briefly in coming tutorials.

How different computers are identified

Just like in a college or university each student is given a unique roll number for identification, each computer on a network is assigned a unique IP address so that it can be identified easily. We will talk about an IP address in details in coming tutorials.

If you wish to learn computer programming it is important for you to understand the concept of computer networks. This is because web application development is totally based on the concepts of networking and requires basic knowledge about computer networks if you wish to learn it.

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