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What is a network? How does a network identify computers and transmissions?

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1 What is a network? How does a network identify computers and transmissions?

2 Computer networks do indeed run this world we live in. From banks, to schools, to businesses, virtually every system or process in today's world is affected, or run by a computer network.

3 A computer network is typically made up of a server, or client workstation, an operating system (like Windows), some sort of cabling and a network interface card (NIC). The network interface card-- also known as an expansion board--is what allows the computer to be part of a network of other computers. It contains the communication circuits needed for the computer to function on a network. Once connected to a network, computers can share and exchange information as well as resources.

4 LAN stands for Local Area Network. It's a group of computers which all belong to the same organization, and which are linked within a small geographic area using a network, and often the same technology (the most widespread being Ethernet). A local area network is a network in its simplest form. Data transfer speeds over a local area network can reach up to 10 Mbps and 1 Gbps. A local area network can reach as many as 100, or even 1000, users.

5 By expanding the definition of a LAN to the services that it provides, two different operating modes can be defined: In a "peer-to-peer" network, in which communication is carried out from one computer to another, without a central computer, and where each computer has the same role. In a "client/server" environment, in which a central computer provides network services to users.

6 MAN MANs (Metropolitan Area Networks) connect multiple geographically nearby LANs to one another (over an area of up to a few dozen kilometers) at high speeds. Thus, a MAN lets two remote nodes communicate as if they were part of the same local area network. A MAN is made from switches or routers connected to one another with high-speed links (usually fiber optic cables).

7 WAN A WAN (Wide Area Network or extended network) connects multiple LANs to one another over great geographic distances. The speed available on a WAN varies depending on the cost of the connections (which increases with distance) and may be low. WANs operate using routers, which can "choose" the most appropriate path for data to take to reach a network node. The most well-known WAN is the Internet.

8 Function Today's computer networks transmit through either cable or wireless connections. Cable transmissions run along cable or fiber-optic wires, whereas wireless transmissions use radio and/or microwave frequencies. Wireless networks are the most popular. Though cable networks have physical limitations in terms of connecting cables, and fixed areas, they are more stable and reliable overall. Wireless networks are more prone to radio interferences, interference from other wireless devices, and physical obstructions such as buildings, or walls can disrupt their signal.

9 TCP/IP When computers communicate with one another, certain rules, or protocols, allow them to transmit and receive data in an orderly fashion. Throughout the world, one of the most routinely used sets of protocols is the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP).

10 TCP/IP TCP/IP allows communication between a number of computers (called hosts) connected on a network. Each network can be connected to another network to communicate with hosts on that network.

11 TCP/IP TCP/IP provides facilities that make the computer system an Internet host, which can attach to a network and communicate with other Internet hosts. TCP/IP includes commands and facilities that allow you to: ◦Transfer files between systems ◦Log in to remote systems ◦Run commands on remote systems ◦Print files on remote systems ◦Send electronic mail to remote users ◦Converse interactively with remote users ◦Manage a network

12 You need to research networks and describe in 3 paragraphs (at least 7 sentences in each paragraph) what you know about networks, the different types of networks, their functions and features. You can also talk about TCP/IP!


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