Understanding Networks



The first computer network was invented when ancient mathmaticians connected their abacuses (or it is abaci?) with kite string so they could instantly share their abacus answers with each other  over the years, computer networks have become more and more sophisticated. Now instead of string, networks use electrical cables,fiber optic cables, or wireless radio signals to connect computers to each other . The Purpose , However , has remained the same: Sharing information getting work done faster.


This lesson Describe the Basics of what computer networking is and how it works.


Understanding Networks 




Defining a Network
 A network is simply two or more computer, connected, so that they can exchange information (such  as email messages or documents) or share resources (say , disk storage or printers). In most cases, this connection is made via electrical cables that carry the information in the form of electrical signlals. Other types of connection are used, too .For examples, compters can communicate via fiber optic cables at extremely high speeds by using impulses of light  .And in a wireless network, computers communicate by using radio signals. Look , Ma! No Hands!


In addition to the hardware that supports a network, you also need special software to enable communications. In the early days of networking, you had to add this software to each computer on the network. Nowdays, network support is built in to all major operating systems, including all current ver-sions of windows, Macintosh operating systems, and Linux.

Network Building blocks
All networks, large or small, require specialized network hardware to make them work. For a small network, in this hardware may consists of nothing more than computers equipped with network ports, a cable for each computer and a network switch that all the computer plug in to via the cable.


Larger networks probably have additional components, such as routers or repeaters.

Small or large, though , all networks are built from the following basis building blocks:

Client computers:- These computers are what end users use to access the resources of the networks. Client computers are typically computers located on users' desks.They usually run a desktop  versions of windows in addition , the client computers usually run some type of application software, such as Microsoft office. Client computers are sometimes referred to as workstations.

Server computers:- These computers provide shredx resources, such as disk storage and printers, as well as network services, such as email and Internet access. Server computers typically run a specialized network operating system , such as Windows Server , Netware, or linux , along with special software to provide network services. For example, a server may run Microsoft Exchange to provide email services for the network, or it may run Apache Web Server so that the computer can serve web pages.

Network interface:- This interface - sometimes called a network port -is installed on computer to enable the computer  to communicate over a network . Almost all network interfaces implement  a networking standard called Ethernet.

Technical Stuff

A network interface is sometimes called  a NIC, which is techie for network interface card. In the early days of networking, you actually had to install a separate circuit  card on the computer to provide a network interface.Nowdays, nearly all computers come with network  ointerfaces built in  as an integral part of the computer's  motherboard. Although  separate network card are rarely required these days, the term NIC is still frequently  used to refer to the network  nterface. 

Tip
You well might have to install separate network interface cards to provide more than one network interface on a single computer, or to replace a built-in network interface that has malufunctioned without having to replace the entire motherboard. 

Cable:- Computers in a network are usually physically connected to each other using cable. Although several types of cable have been popular over the years, most networks today use twisted-pair cable, which is also known by its official designation , 10BaseT. Twisted-pair cable is also sometime referred to as Cat-5 or Cat-6 Cables. These terms refer to the standards that determine the maximum speed with which the cable can carry data; Cat-6 is rated for more speed than Cat-5.

Switches:- You don't typically use a network cable to connect computers directly to each other. Instead, each computer is connected by cable to a central switches, which connects to the rest of the network.

Wireless Network: In wireless network, most cables and switches are moot. Radio transmitters  and receivers take the place of the cables.
The main advantage of wireless networking is its flexibility: no cables to run through walls or cellings, and clients computers can be located  any where within range of the network  broadcast. 

Network Software: What really makes a network  work is software, which has to be set up just right to get a network working. Server computers typically use a special operating called a server operating system that is designed to provide services such as file sharing or email connections for the client on the network . in addition , client computers need to have their network setting configured properly to access the network .
One of the most important networking choices to make is which erver operating
system to use on the network's servers. Much of the task of building a new network and managing an existing one is configured and maintaining the server operating systems.
For most business network, the best choice for the server operating system is the server version of windows, called Windows Server. The most popular alternative is linux. 


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