Computer networks are sets of computers and other hardware devices that are connected to one another. The hardware devices that are part of a network can communicate with one another, sending data through the connections that link them together. Networks can be composed of a wide range of different types of devices. Computers, printers, external hard drives, and many other devices can all be connected to a computer network. Computers and other devices can also be connected to the worldwide network, the internet.
Networks can be either wired or wireless. In a wired network, the components are connected through cables. In a wireless network, some or all of the components are connected to the device via a wireless signal. This signal is sent out by a router or wireless hub, and picked up by a wireless receiver or adapter in each device. A wireless network can be neater than a wired one since there are no unsightly wires between the devices. Wireless connections can also be ideal when the devices which are to be connected to the network are placed in more than one room, or when they need to be moved around rather than left in one place.
A simple network can be very easy to set up. It is becoming increasingly common for people to set up their own simple networks at home since many people have more than one computer in their home, which they want to be able to connect to a wireless internet router. There are also an increasing number of devices that can be linked into a network, such as devices for streaming music around the house. Building and managing a more complicated network can be much more difficult and it may require some professional guidance.
The term node is used for any device that is connected to the network, such as a computer, printer or a web hosting server. Each of the nodes in the network will need to be connected to a router, although switches can also be used to connect devices in a network. The router will also be connected to the internet. Every node in the network will be able to communicate, through the router, with the other nodes in the system, and with the internet.
In addition to the devices, such as computers that are connected to a network, there are also various components that help to build the network and keep it working. The main device that is used to create a network is usually the router. Another common device for building networks is the switch. Switches are very similar in appearance to routers, but they perform a different function in the network. Switches can be used to connect a number of different devices to a network. The connected devices can then communicate with each other. Routers are used to connect multiple networks together. They can be used to connect a home or office network to the internet, for example.
If you are interested in learning more about computer networking and the types of devices that are involved in networking, then you will find plenty of useful information elsewhere on the PCx3.com website.