A local area network

What Is Computer Networking?

Computer networking is the process of linking two or more devices to allow data and other resources to be shared between them.

In many homes, this process takes place on a daily basis and a computer network is nothing foreign. Mostly through the use of routers and modems, laptops, mobile phones, tablets, gaming consoles, and even televisions are commonly connected through the same network. On a larger scale, a significant amount of the existing communications infrastructure—internet and telephone services—is dependent upon computer networks.

Types of Computer Networks

There are four broad categories of computer networks.

1. The smallest and most familiar are Local Area Networks (LANs), which are used to connect devices in a small geographical area.

2. Wide Area Networks (WANs) are used to connect people over larger areas. Example: the Cisco network.

3. Wireless Local Area Network (WLANs) connect host and server networks with one another wirelessly.

4. Wireless Wide Area Networks (WWANs) connect people over larger areas wirelessly. In wireless area networks, resources are shared over radio transceivers. Example: 3G and 4G services for cell phones.

Other Uses

In engineering, computer networking is a discipline that studies these connected systems. Many disciplines contribute to the field, which relies on computer sciences, computer engineering, telecommunication, and information technology.

Last Updated: May 12, 2017

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