Computer network technology basics

In today’s fast and competitive world, the usage of computer network technology is one of the requirements for the success of a business or career. This technology enables computers to get connected each other so that they can share different types of resources that are available within the network. Generally, as far as there are two or more computers, the networking concept can be implemented.

In this article we will try to answer the following questions and discuss about computer network.

What is the role of computer network technology? In what way computer networking is essential? What are the main types of computer network and the tools needed to install? Where and when should we implement computer network in our business and occupation?

What are the benefits of computer network technology?

Computer networking enables you to share both hardware devices and software. Actually, the main purpose of computer network is SHARING. You can share wide varieties devices and resources.
The following are some of the most common devices that can be shared over a network.

  • Printers
  • Fax machines
  • Storage devices and CD/DVD drives
  • Computer Local drives
  • Scanners
  • Modems
  • Applications

Why should we share resources via a computer network? There are two main reasons: cost and time.

Using a computer network benefits both large and small businesses by reducing costs made on expensive hardware. These devices include printers, scanners, fax machine and copiers. For example, rather than buying printers for each office, it is more profitable and wise decision to connect several computers and share a single centralized printer or resource.

Other than reducing hardware costs, computer network technology is used to share a single Internet connection over multiple computers, helps to control your data and information, enables to work on a single document, exchange mails, helps to work a task using networked applications, easily access data without going to the source computer, troubleshoot computer problems easily, installing programs to multiple computers over a network and many more.

In addition to trimming down hardware costs, you can also save much time after the implementation of computer network technology in your business. Depending on the type of work you have, computer network can be implemented both at the office and home.

Types of computer networks

A Network can be classified based on the physical distance between two points. Some of the major computer networks are the following:-

Personal Area Networks (PAN)

It is a type of wireless network than can connect devices at a limited distance (30ft). Using PAN you can download data from digital camera to a computer (laptop) or print to a printer without connecting each other with a cable. Bluetooth connection is grouped into PAN

Local Area Networks (LAN)

Local Area Network is the popular computer network technology type which connects computer systems within a small area. These small areas include a single office, a building with several floors or home. LAN network is the best network type that can be built in these areas.

There are two types of LANs: peer-to-peer networks and client/server networks.

In peer-to-peer network:-

  • Each computer is connected independently
  • It is to share files and hardware devices such as printers
  • There is no dedicated server
  • The cost is minimized, it is cheap and easily installed
  • The performance may decrease
  • Ideal for small business or home network
  • Low security comparing to client/server networks

In client/server network:-

  • There is a dedicated server. Server is a type of computer built in with high end processors, more memory space and larger storage capacity. Servers operate with a special type of operating systems such as Windows server 2003, 2008, Linux and Unix.

Depending on the capacity, servers can accommodate several users at the same time. Servers can be used for several purposes: files server, e-mail server, and print server. In my office we use one server for file, print and e-mail purposes.

  • Each workstation or client computer connects to a server not with the other client computer. A client computer is any type of computer that is connected to a server.
  • Only authorized users can access in client/server network
  • It is secured centrally
  • All the sharing of resources in the network is controlled by the server
  • It is very expensive to install

Metropolitan Area Networks (MAN)

Metropolitan network is the other type of computer network that covers a campus or city. Governmental offices, universities and colleges have utilized this type of network.

Wide Area Networks (WAN)

A wide area network is a network that connects large geographic area. WAN is a group of Local area networks. Local area networks found in different regions can be connected through fiber optics, satellite or leased phone lines. Internet is the largest network in the world. It is a collection of several interconnected networks that shares information freely.

Computer network technology tools

Computers can’t connect each other unless proper tools and protocols are met. If you want to have a network at your office or home, you should know the tools needed for it. First, determining the type and network architecture will dictate the type of hardware you are going to use. This will save you from unnecessary expense.
The following are the minimum tools you need for typical computer network

  • Cables that include Coaxial, UTP (unshielded twisted pair) and fiber optics. You can also connect computers using wireless connection.
  • Network card (most recent system has built in 100Mbs/1000Gbs network adapters)
  • Communication rules or Network protocols – TCP/IP (transmission control protocol/internet protocol) the most popular and the standard protocol that supports both internet and LAN networks.
  • Network operating system
  • Hardware devices that are going to be shared (printer, fax, scanner)

There are other advanced equipment that can be included in a given network. However, it all depends on the type of network you have. Server, Switches, Hubs are a must for large networks.


This is just an overview of computer network technology. As we have already seen in the above article, the role of computer network is significant in any business whether it is small or large. In any case, implementing this technology both at the office and home level is essential for business and individual career success.

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