Introduction to Computer Network - MetaTutorials

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Introduction to Computer Network

Here, we will learn about the definition, characteristics, uses, advantages, and disadvantages of Computer Network. 
These days, Computer Network has become an integral part of the business sector for professional tasks as well as personal tasks. The technologies of computer networks help the user to share information on the network and also allows them to communicate. 

What is a Computer Network?

Computer Network is a collection of two or more digital devices which are connected through communication channels. 
In networking, devices are connected by both wired or wireless media. The main objective of the computer network is to sharing of the resource among multiple digital devices. They also share operating systems or software on the remote systems. 
Computer Network also includes multiple devices such as routers, switches, hubs, and bridges which help to communicate between the two devices. These intermediate devices are known as Network devices.

The computers on the network may be connected through radio waves, cables, satellites, telephone lines, or infrared light beams. The nodes of the computer network are identified by the network addresses or hostnames.  

Characteristics of Computer Network

Following are the important characteristics of features of the Computer Network:
1. The main aim of the computer network is to sharing of resources from one digital device to another digital device. 
2. Files are saved at the centralized server. So, it is simple to keep the backup of all the files from the server. 
3. Computer network provides security which protects the data and information from unauthorized users.   
4. Computer networks are scalable which means that we can add new components or devices to the network. The adding of new devices or components increases the performance of the system. 

Uses of Computer Network

Following are the important uses of the Computer Network:
1. File and Resource Sharing: Computer Networks allow organizations to share resources and data files in a very effective way. 
Programs and software present in a computer are available to every other computer which are connected to the network. Network users can also share devices such as Scanners, printers, hard disks, CD-ROM drives, etc. 
2. Electronic Messaging: Email (Electronic-mail) is the most widely used network application which is used by millions of peoples for sending text messages, audios, videos, and photos to other people or group of people on this network.
3. E-Commerce: It is an important business which is doing with the consumers on the Internet. Computer network plays an important role in online transactions. Users and organizations can pay bills, sell, and buy items electronically.
4. Marketing and Sales: Marketing professionals use the computer network to exchange, analyze, and collect the data which is related to the customer needs. 
Sales application uses the computer network for providing teleshopping and online-reservation services. 
5. Server-Client model: In this model, the server is a powerful central computer that stores the data and is maintained by the system administrator. 
Clients are the simple machines that access the remote data stored in the server. 

Advantages of Computer Network

Following are the important advantages or pros of the Computer Network:
1. The main advantage of computer networking is that the files can easily be shared between the end-users. The users which are connected by the network can easily communicate by emails and instant messengers. 
2. Another big advantage is that the user can share their hardware and software resources in an organization. The computer network also helps people to share the scanners and printers.  
3. It helps the peoples to share the information at a very fast speed.
4. Computer networking boosts the capacity of the storage. 
5. As compared to the single machine multiple interconnected computers work at a fast speed and solve the problem instantly. 

Disadvantages of Computer Network

Following are the important disadvantages or cons of the Computer Network:
1. The main disadvantage of the computer network is that the amount of set-up the network including file servers, hardware, and networking cables is high. 
2. In the network, all the systems are connected to the main server. If the server fails then the system cannot be used in the future.
3. Viruses can spread easily to other computers because of the inter-connectivity of the multiple devices. If any computer on a network gets infected with malware then there is a high possibility for the remaining systems to gets infected too. 
4. One of the big disadvantages of computers connected to the network involves many security issues. For large networks such as WAN, hackers can easily access confidential data by using various specialized tools which are developed for this purpose.