Introduction to Computer Network

This section is about the introduction to a computer network. In this section let us discuss the computer network, its needs and its different applications.

Introduction to Computer Network

The term computer network is defined as a group of two or more computers connected together by means of network media and network devices in order to share resources such as printers, storage devices, exchange files and allow electronic communication among them. The network media used are transmission media which may be wired or wireless. The wired media are twisted cables, co-axial cables, or optical fibre. The wireless media includes wireless LAN (Wi-Fi), infrared, microwave link, etc.

The complexity of computer networking may be as simple as the direct connection of two computers with a cable to share resources and as complex as the global network like the Internet which spans all over the globe.

What is  the need for networking

 The primary aim of establishing a computer network is the sharing of resources and electronic communication. When computers are connected to a network, we can share resources between them. These resources may be software or hardware. The software resources are files, programs, applications, etc. whereas the hardware resources are storage media, printers, scanners, etc.

The benefits of computer networking are found around every sphere of our day to day life. Everyone is familiar with the Internet which is the major breakthrough in the field of information technology and is abundantly spread all over the world. The Internet is the largest computer network. Almost every home, offices, and even person is connected to the Internet.

Applications of Computer Networking

The major applications of computer networks are :

    • E-mail: One of the extensive applications of a computer network is electronic mail or more commonly known as e-mail. E-mail is the electronic way of exchanging messages between the two entities. The message may be in the form of text, voice, or videos.
    • Online shopping: The use of a computer network in the form of the internet has made shopping so easy. You don’t have to go to the market to buy your favourite clothes. There are so many online shopping websites that sell almost everything through their web portals. The buyer has to login to the shopping website with their login credentials. The website presents every piece of information the buyer needs to know about the items such as item price, availability, ratings by the outer buyers, and so on. So, online shopping is the most convenient method of buying products with the help of the internet.
    • E-Commerce: E-commerce is the electronic method of buying or selling goods and services over the internet. Electronic commerce makes use of technologies like online fund transfer, supply chain management, electronic data processing, etc. E-commerce has helped to enhance the economic development of any business establishment. It also reduces manpower, time, and cost.
    • Education: The computer network has played a major role in the field of education. computer networking services such as the internet provides the interaction between the teacher s and the students. The students can interact any time with the teachers for their doubts and queries.
    • E-governance: The role of computer networking in e-governance plays a vital role in delivering government services, information sharing among the citizens and the government officials. It provides an online platform for public services to get connected with the citizens to hear their grievances and other official commitments.
    • Sharing of resources: The major uses of computer networking is the sharing of resources. The resources can be of two types; hardware and software. The hardware resources include printers, scanners, disk storage space etc, whereas the software resources include the application software running on the server. Instead of installing a different licence copy of the software to an individual, a single software is installed in the server and that is accessible to all the clients with the help of networking.
    • Medical and health services: The medical department and the hospitals have benefitted from the use of computer network. The computer network helped the hospital management much easier. The software like the hospital management system runs on the computer network. This software manages the overall administration and functionalities of the hospitals that include indoor-outdoor patient management, patients medical records, doctors availability etc.
    • Tourism: The tourism industry boomed after the advent of the internet. The facility of online booking of rooms made things easier.
    • Banking: Nowadays, banking sectors operated their function online with the help of a computer network. Every bank stores their customers account information in the database server. On line banking system has reduced manpower, the work has become easier for the managers and accountants to maintain the customers account details using automated software. The use of ATM and net banking system reduces unnecessary crowd at the bank.

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