A computer network is a key element of any organization, large or small. It allows employees in different locations to communicate with each other in real time and facilitates interdepartmental data processing. Its use has become essential to modern day business operations, and it is the backbone of modern enterprise networks. However, there are a few key issues to consider before establishing a computer network.
A computer network is divided into two basic types. The first type is the local area network, which consists of computers located within a single building. The second type is the metropolitan area network, which can connect multiple buildings or even an entire city. In a LAN, packets between hosts carry the address of the source and the destination, and this makes it possible for users in different locations to share computer resources.
The computer network is built up of nodes, which are the individual computers in a network. Each node is connected to another via a link, which is known as a port. The nodes are known by their network addresses or hostnames. Hostnames serve as memorable labels for individual computers while network addresses are used to identify nodes using a communication protocol. Computer networks are further categorized according to their transmission medium, bandwidth, topology, traffic control mechanisms, and organizational intent.
The computer network uses ports to identify a particular connection between two or more network nodes. Ports are numbered, and computers use port numbers to determine which application, process, or service should receive the messages. A network can be built with various types of network cable, such as Ethernet twisted-pair (Ethernet), coaxial, or fiber optic. The cable used will depend on the size of the network, how many devices will be connected, and the physical distance between the devices.
Computer networks can be a source of security threats, as hackers often use them to deploy viruses and worms. To prevent such attacks, administrators should set up a network with security solutions. They can also use alerts to notify them of any unusual activity. Keeping an eye on computer network performance is crucial in protecting your business.
Routing and switching are critical components of a computer network. Routers and switches are devices that manage network packets, ensuring they reach their destinations without losing their integrity. Routing protocols also allow the network to be more efficient. Besides the router, there are also network devices known as repeaters, which are similar to transformers. They receive network signals and then clean them up and strengthen them to ensure their proper functioning. Another type of network device is the switch, which is a multiport bridge.
Mesh topologies are another option. In mesh networks, nodes connect with as many other nodes as possible, ensuring better fault tolerance. This network design also enables the devices to exchange information with each other. In a full mesh topology, all nodes are connected to one another, but it is more expensive to implement. Partial mesh is cheaper and easier to implement.