Basics of Computer Networks

Topics: OSI model, Computer network, Ethernet Pages: 9 (2856 words) Published: January 26, 2014
Question 1:

Define and explain the following terminologies:
Computer network;
Personal area networks;
Local area networks;
Metropolitan area networks;
Wide area networks;
Data communications;
Network management.

Computer network:
A computer network is an interconnection of devices, generally computing assets in this case via physical wires or wireless mediums that use radio waves. This interconnection allows for the transmission of data and information from one point of the network to the other over given distances. This could refer to a microcomputer-to-local area network layout in which a client/server system is used. For instance a computer network in a small office would consist of client or user devices that send read or write requests to shared software resources residing on a central office server that connects several users in the office via connection points residing on a switch/s allowing multiple workstations to connect and access these resources. Personal area networks (PANs)

A personal area network is one that is limited to a few meters in relation to an individual user when using a wireless device such as a personal digital assistants (PDAs) and laptops for example. This could refer to a personal area network-to-workstation layout in which wireless transmissions are used for devices such as PDA’s, laptops, and portable music players to transfer or retrieve voice, data, and music to and from devices and/or workstations. For instance, an individual user may, after taking photos send the photo images via blue tooth to a blue tooth-enabled workstation. Local area networks (LANs)

This is a small computer network, spanning between relatively short geographic distances such as a room, floor, building, or campus. One may find desktop computers leveraging a centralized LAN in an office that provides internal and external intercommunication where necessary. This could refer to a local area network-to-local area network layout in which a client/server system between two departments, buildings, floors or even campuses may be used. For instance a company that is trying to save costs on purchasing new printers for each department can consolidate and share printing services on a print server by connecting separated department LANs that interconnect. Metropolitan area networks (MANs)

Networks that interconnect business between each other as well as the internet and also span distance of up to 50 kilometres are MANs. This could refer to a local area network-to-metropolitan area network layout which uses high speed fiber-optic links to interconnect between client/server LAN layouts over a long distance and to connect to services located at an Internet Service Provider. For instance a company that runs some of its software on servers that are hosted on the premises of an Internet Service Provider may use a MAN to have access to these services that are hosted off site. Wide area networks (WANs)

This is a larger deployment of a MAN where interconnections of computer networks span across geographic locations such as cities, multiple states/provinces, and the world. This could refer to a wide area network-to-wide area network layout which uses high speed routers and switches to transport TCP/IP data packets on the internet from one IP address from one far end of the world to the other e.g. Making video conference call via Skype from South Africa to Australia leverages high speed computer networking equipment to ensure quality of such live streaming technologies over wide area network distances. Data communications

Data communications refers to the transfer of digital or analog data using digital or analog signals where such signals are then transmitted over conducted or wireless media. Such data communications are carried out over different topologies of computer network layouts such as PANs, LANs, WANs, MANs etc. These communications consist of a sender (the computer device that generates data...
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