A network consists of a collection of computers, printers and other compatible equipment/ hardware that is connected together so that they can communicate with each other. Networking is a combination of two words Connection & Packet. Before going further deep you need to understand about these words:
- Connection: A connection refers to physical connectivity (direct or indirect) between Listener & Speaker (or Sender & Receiver).
- Packet: The most basic unit that is transferred over a network. When communicating over a network, packets are the envelopes that carry your data (in pieces) from one end point to the other. It also uses in the initiating process of networking before actually transferring the data, just for checking the connectivity.
There are three types of Network Configuration:
- Peer -to- Peer Network: A peer-to-peer (P2P) network is created when two or more PCs are connected and share resources without strict security. All the peers connected through copper wires.The initial use of P2P networks in business followed the deployment in the early 1980s of free-standing PCs.
- Client/Server Network: Client/server networks are more suitable for larger networks. A central computer, or ‘server’, acts as the storage location for files and applications shared on the network.
Client/server is a program relationship in which one program (the client) requests a service or resource from another program (the server). The server also controls the network access of the other computers which are referred to as the ‘client’ computers.
All rights preserved by the Admin only. Everything goes under the control of the Admin. In this type of structure Monitoring & Security can easily be managed.
- Thin Client Network: Thin client usually refers to software, it is increasingly used for computers, such as network computers and Net PCs, that are designed to serve as the clients for client/server Architectures.
A thin client is a network computer without a hard disk drive, whereas a fat client includes a disk drive.
There are three ways for Computer Network Designs is by their scope or scale:
- LAN: A LAN (Local Area Network) is a group of computers and network devices connected together, usually within the same building. The connections must be high speed and relatively inexpensive.
LAN connection speeds can be 10Mbps or 100Mbps or 1000Mpbs also. LAN uses Guided Media.
- WAN: A WAN (wide area network), in comparison to a MAN, is not restricted to a geographical location, although it might be confined within the bounds of a state or country. A WAN connects several LANs, and may be limited to an enterprise (a corporation or an organization) or accessible to the public. The technology is high speed and relatively expensive. The Internet is an example of a worldwide public WAN.
WAN connection speeds can be 10Mbps or 100Mbps. WAN mainly uses Guided Media or Unguided media. Its long distance communications, which may or may not be provided by public packet network.
- MAN: A MAN (metropolitan area network) is a larger network that usually spans several buildings in the same city or town.
A MAN is larger than a LAN, which is typically limited to a single building or site. Depending on the configuration, this type of network can cover an area from several miles to tens of miles. A MAN is often used to connect several LANs together to form a bigger network. When this type of network is specifically designed for a college campus, it is sometimes referred to as a campus area network, or CAN.
MAN connection speeds can be 10Mbps or 100Mbps. MAN uses Guided Media or Unguided media.
There are three types of Network Configuration based on Uses:
- Internet: It is a Global network of computers, (servers or clients) to exchange information. It is a “network of networks” that includes millions of private and public, academic, business, and government networks (local or Global), linked by copper wires, wireless connections, and other technologies.
- Intranet: Internal company network that uses Internet standards (HTML, HTTP & TCP/IP protocols) & software.
An intranet is a private network that is setup and controlled by an organization to encourage interaction among its members, to improve efficiency and to share information, among other things.
An intranet is a restricted-access network that works much like the Internet, but is isolated from it. As is the case with the Internet, an intranet is based on TCP/IP protocols.
- Extranet: An extranet is an extended intranet. In addition to allowing access to members of an organization, an extranet uses firewalls, access profiles, and privacy protocols to allow access to users from outside the organization. In essence, an extranet is a private network that uses Internet protocols and public networks to securely share resources with customers, suppliers, vendors, partners, or other businesses.
Both intranets and extranets are owned, operated and controlled by one organization. However, the difference between intranets and extranets is defined in terms of who has access to the private network and the geographical reach of that network. Intranets allow only members of the organization to access the network, while an extranet allows persons from outside the organization (i.e. business partners and customers) to access the network.