Computer Networking for beginners:
In the modern world, computer networking forms part of every company, industry, office, hospital, and almost every other sector. In other words, computer networks have been set up almost everywhere. Since computer networking forms a major part of our world, it is important that beginners have a clear understanding of what computer networking is.
In this article, we will discuss the basics of networking in detail. This will give you a good idea of what computer networking entails before you can fully immerse into the subject.
What is Computer Networking?
In simple terms, a network can be described as a series of interconnected computers and other devices, whose inter-connectivity gives them the ability to exchange data. Each of these interconnected computers/devices is termed as a ‘node,’ with each node having its own unique address.
These unique addresses are usually provided in numeric quantities easily understood by the devices, for instance, 184.108.40.206. In order to make these numeric addresses easily remembered by users, the networks can be provided with simple names that correspond to their numeric addresses, for instance, www.javasoft.com.
Advantages of Computer Networking
It is not for no reason that computer networking makes a big percentage of the modern world. Using this form of networking brings about very many associated benefits to people. The following points outline the major advantages of computer networking;
- With computer networking, a group of computers can be easily connected so as to send and/or receive information.
- Limited assets, such as email, printers and scanners, can be easily shared.
- Computer Networking makes sharing of information simple and very fast.
- It makes communication not only efficient but also very cheap, as compared to if there was no networking.
See also: Difference between TCP and UDP protocols
The main concepts of computer networking can be summarized into three main categories;
- Access Points
These three are what form the basics of networking; they are what makes it possible to connect devices to a network and transfer information. All three networking essentials perform a different function in a network. Let’s consider the function of each;
The switch is basically the foundation of any business network. It functions as a controller, which connects devices and servers to the main network of a building. These connected devices could be printers or computers.
By connecting the devices and servers to a network, the switches enable communication between the devices, or even between the devices and other networks. Switches, therefore, help to reduce on costs while increasing productivity, since they promote the sharing and allocation of resources.
A router is what connects different networks together. Also, routers not only connect networks, but also connect the computers on these already-connected networks, to the larger Internet network. When all these computers have been connected to the Internet, they can then share one Internet connection. Such sharing helps to reduce costs and save on money.
While a switch functions as a controller, a router functions as a dispatcher. This means that the router looks into the data that is being transmitted across a chosen network, analyzes it, finds out which route would be best for transmitting the data, then sends the data through that route.
For added security, routers can include added features, such as VPN (Virtual Private Network), Internet Protocols (IP), among other security features.
3.) Access points
An access point connects devices and computers to a wireless network. A wireless network is a type of network that does not require the use of cables. Wireless networks are preferred because they make it easier to connect new devices online, and are also flexible when it comes to mobile workers.
An access point functions as an amplifier to a network. The router usually provides the bandwidth, while the access point provides an extension of the bandwidth. The extended bandwidth makes it possible for the network to support many devices, even those located in farther locations.
The three above discussed essentials are what makes the basics of networking; without them, we would not have any computer networking. Therefore, only after understanding these three concepts well, can you understand what computer networking really entails.
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