The network is a connection between at least two computers usually by cable, running software which allows them to communicate with one another.
Users over a network can share computer resources such as hard drives, printers, modems, CD-ROM drives, and processors.
Although most networks are more complicated than this two-computer scenario, all networks are based on the concept of sharing.
There’s actually a great work of technology involved when one computer connects to and communicates with another.
In addition, there are many types of physical connections and related software to consider.
In the following sections, we discuss some fundamental concepts behind all networks and explain what kinds of network models are appropriate for various business environments.
When the computers connected to a network are all close together, such as in the same building or campus, the network is called a Local Area Network (LAN).
A local area network (LAN) is a group of computers and associated devices that share a common communications line or wireless link.
Typically, connected devices share the resources of a single processor or server within a small geographic area (for example, within an office building).
Usually, the server has applications and data storage that are shared in common by multiple computer users.
A local area network may serve as few as two or three users (for example, in a home network) or as many as thousands of users (for example, in an FDDI network).
The metropolitan area network (MAN) is a large-scale network that connects multiple corporate LANs together.
MANs usually are not owned by a single organization; their communication devices and equipment are usually maintained by a group or single network provider that sells its networking services to corporate customers.
MANs often take the role of a high-speed network that allows for the sharing of regional resources. MANs also can provide a shared connection to other networks using a WAN link
If the network uses long-range telecommunications links allowing the computers to be spread out over long distances, the network is referred to as a Wide Area Network (WAN).
A WAN spans a large geographic area, such as a state, province or country. WANs often connect multiple smaller networks, such as local area networks (LANs) or metro area networks (MANs).
Types of WANs:
A centralized WAN consists of a central computer that is connected to dumb terminals and / or other types of terminal devices.
A distributed WAN consists of two or more computers in different locations and may also include connections to dumb terminals and other types of terminal devices.
The world’s most popular WAN is the Internet.