Introduction to Computer Networking

Computer Networking is defined as “procedure of linking many computers that can allocate for shared resources, information interchange and communication”. Generally, networks are built with an integration of computer software and computer hardware. There are different types of networking like LAN, WAN and MAN that are used in many different applications currently used by various organizations.

Networking is an approach of connecting two or more computing devices together that support for data transmission and communication transversely. The devices taking in part in networking will be connected through cable wires. There are other intermediaries that promote a complete network among computers such as hubs, switches, routers, bridges, gateways, modems and interface cards.

Computer Networking

A small computer network (Image source:

In the present business world, networking is more significant and useful for the organizations in acquiring the more enhancements. Major networking benefits are categorized as two types: resource sharing and connectivity. The networks also facilitate for easy sharing of resources and information. The modern business purely depends on networks because it is more useful for the effective, quick flow and management of information. Several major benefits provided by the networking include centralized administration, amplified storage capacity, hardware sharing, data sharing, conserve resources, lower cost licensing, avoid file duplication and corruption, improved cost efficiency, resource sharing, file sharing, performance improvement and balancing, entertainment, data protection and management, internet access, internet access sharing etc.


There are different types of computer networks that allow electronic interchange of files from one device to other. The following are major networking types:

  • Local Area Network (LAN)
  • Metropolitan Area Network(MAN)
  • Wide Area Network  (WAN)



A Local area network is a computer network that extends to a comparatively smaller area. It is a set of computers and connected devices which distribute a wireless link or common connection line. Mostly, LAN is restrained to a one building or group of building for example an organization that can share resources within restricted region. However, one LAN can be linked to other LANs over some distance via wired or wireless connections. Most of the LANs connect personal computers and workstations. In a LAN, each computer has its own CPU in which it executes programs and is also capable to share the information with the devices anywhere on the local area network.  LAN is more significant and capable in transferring the data quickly at fast rates but the distances are limited. Ethernet, Token Ring and FDDI are three significant local area network technologies.

Local Area Network


Metropolitan Area Network is a network which connects the users with computer resources in a geographical region which is larger than LAN or covered by a large local area network but smaller than the area enclosed by WAN.  This network is also employed to the linkage of various local area networks through connecting them with the strong lines. There are three major technologies are used to develop the MAN (Metropolitan Area Network) that include ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode), SMDS (switched multi megabit data service) and FDDI (fibre distribution data interface). General example of MAN derived service includes cable connections for television in different blocks of any city.

 Metropolitan area network


Wide area network enables the connectivity among many computers for large geographical area that can even span across the world to transfer the data. Speed of data transmission can be as low as a few kbps or can be as fast as gbps. The best example of WAN is internet and this network is used in military networks, airline reservations, corporate networks, banking networks and stock brokerage networks. Any organizations that utilize WAN interact through internet protocols that are said to be service providers in establishing global communication structure. The wide area network is again formulated into three type’s point to point, circuit switched and packet switched. Point to point technology will enable others to obtain network connection leased from provider who affords service. This technology is used in case of specific bandwidth requested with restricted location and due to this reason it is very pricey. Circuit switched technology is a network that promotes data transfer only if users again set up through call. The best examples are ISDN and dial-up where these connections are dually used for telephonic purpose and data communication. In this technology the speed is very low compared to point to point and at a time only one purpose is achieved that is if telephone used no internet and if internet in use no calls will be received. Packet switched technology is less expensive than point to point but bandwidth is not definite. This type is not accurate applications that constantly require same bandwidth which is not provided here.

wide area network