Computer Networks

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Computer Networks

Does anyone really know what networking is? “In the world of computers, networking is the practice of linking two or more computing devices together for the purpose of sharing data” (Networking Fundamentals). Now this is a great explanation but does this really help us understand? Networking has grown over many years. Where did networking come from? Lets go back to the beginning and find out how far we have come. Network research can be traced back to around the 1960’s. “It was called the Galactic Network when it was first envisioned and described by J.C.R. Licklidder in 1962.” Dr. J.C.R. Licklidder and his colleague, Norbert Weiner of the MIT cybernetics department, were trying to create an electronic model of the human nervous system. They were trying to do this to see how computers and humans could interact. Leonard Kleinrock used Packet Switching with encoded data to address a message so that it could go to its intended "address" in 1961. Licklidder was able to design the “man-computer symbiosis” through the effective routing technology of Packet Switching. This meant that people could communicate with each other through a computer across a network. Licklidder called this mental model of this network, the Galactic Network. “The Defense Department of the United States was very interested in these concepts and, a year after he described the Galactic Network, Licklidder was asked to become the head of computer research at the Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in 1962” (Who Created the First Network). The main idea of this research was to develop a working network that went world wide to help military communications to move quickly across electronic digital paths. Lawrence G. Roberts took over for Dr Licklidder as the head of computer research at DARPA. He designed the first long distance network based on Licklidder’s Galactic Network in 1965. “On a cold war kind of day, in swinging 1969, work began on the ARPAnet (Advanced Research Projects Agency), grandfather to the Internet” (ARPAnet). This network belonged to the Department of Defense. Bob Kahn and Vint Cerf created the Transmission Control Protocol in 1972. The modern internet, which is relied on daily, would not have become possible without this factor. TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol) is the most usually known Internet technology protocols. It was developed in 1982. This connected set of networks results in the first definitions of an "internet.” The World Wide Web was developed in 1991 by Tim Berners-Lee. “1998-present: The Internet continues to experience staggering growth. More people use the Internet to get connected to others, find information, conduct business, and share information than ever before in history” (History of the Internet). But without computer networking it wouldn’t be possible. Networking is one of the most significant steps in the electronic evolution since the invention of the PC. A computer network is a group of connected computers that allow the sharing of information. The most basic network is made up of two computers connected by some kind of cable in order to exchange information more quickly and efficiently. There are two basic types of networks: peer-to-peer and server-based. On a peer-to-peer network, any computer can act as a server to share resources with other machines and as a client to access these resources. It may appear that peer-to-peer networks are hardly worthwhile. However, they offer some powerful incentives, particularly for smaller organisations. Networks of this type are the cheapest and easiest to install, requiring only Windows95, a network card for each machine and some cabling. Once connected, users can start to share information immediately and get access to devices. On the other hand, server-based networks require a server computer whose job is to respond to requests for services or resources from clients elsewhere on the...
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