Dev. 5 What is Network?

A network is a collection of computers, servers, mainframes, or other devices connected to one another to share data. The internet is a good example of a network connecting people all over the world.

Photo by Omar Flores on Unsplash

The simplest type of network is a combination of two computers by cable that is called a ‘peer to peer network’. This network has no hierarchy, thus each computer has access to the data of the other device and share resources such as application or devices (printer, etc). Today, it became more complex with more than just two computers as the internet. It is called ‘client-server network’ where a central computer (server) provides resources to other computers (clients)

The main advantage of network is that participants can exchange data and share resources on a single platform. As I mentioned above, the internet is the easiest example of the network and imagine an office without the internet. We should connect each computers to share data for cooperation at a time and it will be a great troublesome. In this case, a network solve this problem because all computers are connected to the printer via one central node. Generally this central node is called ‘server’. The server is connected to the other devices that is called ‘clients’.

Here, we need to learn more about Client-Server architecture. In large networks, a server is a central computer that is used exclusively to run server software and services. The server must operate continuously meanwhile other computers (clients) can be switched off. The server and clients communicate in this way: the clients send a request to the server, the server evaluates the request and then responses.

Network protocols ensure smooth communication among participants of a network. They control data exchange and determine how communication is established and terminated as well as which data is transmitted. Usually it requires multiple network protocols performing a specific subtask and is organized hierarchically into layers. Also it is essential that the server and clients are identified correctly. Therefore, network addresses are needed. Each computer has an IP address which is categorized internal IP address and external IP address. The internal IP is only for the local network but the external IP is for the internet and it is automatically assigned by the internet provider.

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