A computer network is a connection between two or more computers and the connection is used to establish communication and also for sharing resources. Resources shared include printers, scanners, memory space and so on. Today, most communication take place through computer networks since it provides a simple, quick and cost effective means for information and resource sharing.
There are different types of computers networks. Here is a look at what they are:
- Local Area Network (LAN) -- This network is confined to a small geographical area, wherein one computer serves as the file server. The server stores all the software that controls the network and it can be also used to store software that is needed by various systems connected within the network LAN connections are established through cables.
- Metropolitan Area Networks (MAN) -- A connection of two or more LAN’s form a MAN. The MAN does not go beyond the specific metropolitan area. A sub-type of the MAN is the Campus Area Network (CAN), which connects system inside a military base or college campus.
- Wide Area Networks (WAN) -- Two or more LANs put together form a WAN. This is a network that span over a large geographical area such as cities, countries and even continents. The largest WAN is the Internet. Various communication technologies exists within a WAN and these include Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP), ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode), Sonet (Synchronous Optical Network), and Frame Relay.
- Wireless networks -- Computer networks do not make use of wires for connectivity and communication takes place between hosts and servers through radio transceivers. They can be in the form of WLAN or WWAN.