Networking for Computer Neophytes
Networking is a general term used to describe many things related to computers and communications.
According to the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia:
“a computer network is a system for communication among two or more computers”.
What is the difference between a switch and a hub?
Hubs and switches both connect computers to a network, a network built with switches is generally faster than one built with hubs. A switch is really a higher-performance alternative to a hub.
According to the about.com web site:
“Hubs operate using a broadcast model and switches operate using a virtual circuit model. When four computers are connected to a hub, for example, and two of those computers communicate with each other, hubs simply pass through all network traffic to each of the four computers. Switches, on the other hand, are capable of determining the destination of each individual traffic element (such as an Ethernet frame) and selectively forwarding data to the one computer that actually needs it. By generating less network traffic in delivering messages, a switch performs better than a hub on busy networks.”
Types of Networks
Hand-delivering floppy disks, CDs, DVDs and Memory Sticks from one computer to another.
A local area network (LAN) is a computer network covering a local area, like a home, office or small group of buildings such as a college. The topology of a network dictates its physical structure.
A wide area network or WAN is a computer network covering a wide geographical area. This is different from personal area networks (PANs), metropolitan area networks (MANs) or local area networks (LANs). The best example of a WAN is the Internet.
A Virtual Private Network, or VPN, is a private communications network usually used within a company, or by several different companies or organizations, communicating over a public network. VPN message traffic is carried on public networking infrastructure (i.e., the Internet) using standard (possibly insecure) protocols. It is a secured tunnel of direct communication between computers or networks.
To help understand what a network is we have provided a list of some of the best resources for Networking on the Internet.
What is a Network?
How Home Networking Works
Networking Basics: Routers
Networking Basics: File sharing
Ways to Connect
The difference between a hub and a switch
Networking / Internet History
History of the Internet
A Brief History of the Internet
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