Skip to main content

Network Concepts

A network is two or more computers that have been connected for the purposes of exchanging data and sharing resources. Networked shared resources range from printers, CD-ROMs and modems to files and hard drives. Networks vary in size and scope:

Peer-to-peer network

This type of network includes two or more PCs that are connected to share data files, a printer or other resources with each other.

Server /domain network

A network can be classified as being either a peer-to-peer or a client/server architecture. When all nodes on a network are equal and resources are shared equally, the network is a peer-to-peer network. When one computer is designated to host programs or files for the rest of the network, it is a server and the other nodes are clients. When users and devices have to be registered with the server, this is known as a domain server network.

Local area network (LAN)

A small business or corporate department may install a LAN that interconnects from two to hundreds of PCs, using permanently installed cabling or perhaps wireless technology. This can be either a peer-to-peer or domain network. This is usually in the same building or connected buildings.

Wide-area network (WAN)

A business may maintain a WAN using dial-up, leased or other dedicated communication means. This usually consists of local area networks each connected over great distances to each other.

Next: Network Models