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Networks. What is a computer network?. A network is two or more computers that are linked together so that they are able to share resources. Shared resources include. Hardware – printers, scanners, storage, etc. Software – need only be installed on one computer. Data (e.g. database files).

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what is a computer network
What is a computer network?

A network is two or more computers that are linked together so that they are able to share resources.

shared resources include
Shared resources include
  • Hardware – printers, scanners, storage, etc.
  • Software – need only be installed on one computer.
  • Data (e.g. database files).
  • An Internet connection.
lans and wans
Local area networks:

Confined to a small area.

Usually located in a single building.

Use cable, wireless, infrared and microwave links that are usually owned by the organization.

Cheap to build.

Cheap to run.

Wide area networks:

Cover a wide geographical area (i.e., between cities, countries and even continents).

In lots of different buildings and cities, countries, etc.

Use more expensive telecommunication links that are supplied by telecom companies.

Expensive to build.

Expensive to run.

LANs and WANs
an ict network consists of
An ICT network consists of
  • Hardware/communication devices
  • Network software
  • Data transfer media
communication devices
Communication devices

A network interface card:

  • prepares data for sending over the network
  • sends the data
  • controls the flow of data.
communication devices1
Communication devices

A hub:

  • is used to join computers in a network
  • allows the connection of cables
  • allows the sharing of files and Internet access
communication devices2
Communication devices

A switch:

  • is similar to a hub but more intelligent
  • can look at a packet of data to decide where it should go
  • reduces the number of packets of data on a network, which speeds it up
communication devices3
Communication devices

A router:

  • can be wired or wireless
  • is used to join several networks together
  • is often used to connect several computers in the home to the Internet
network software
Network software

Network software consists of:

  • Network operating systems – specialist operating systems designed specifically for networks.
  • Network management software – used to help a network manager run a network by keeping track of software, keeping software up-to-date, installing software security patches, helping to manage the help-desk, etc.
data transfer media
Data transfer media

The medium/method

by which the data is

transferred in a

network can be:

  • metal wire
  • fibre optic cable
  • wireless.
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