Definition of Network
A computer network is a set of computers or devices that are connected with each other to carry on data and share information. In computing, it is called a network as a way to interconnect two or more devices to each other using cables, signals, waves or other methods with the ultimate goal of transmitting data, share information, resources and services.
The purpose of a network is, generally, to facilitate and expedite communications between two or more instances on the same physical space or connected remotely. Such systems also allow cost savings and time.
The most known type of network is the Intranet, which is a private network that uses Internet as a basic architecture in order to connect various devices. Internet, however, is a technology that connects devices throughout the world, and that is why it is called “network of networks.”
The networks are classified by range (personal, local, campus, metropolitan or wide area), as well as by method of connection (cable, fiber optics, radio, infrared, wireless, etc..) or by functional relationship (client – server or peer-to-peer). Also in the topology field there is a clasification to be aware of (bus, star, ring, mesh, tree etc.) and directional (simplex, half duplex or full duplex).
The use of a network in an office, for example, in which all employees have the same access to resources such as programs and applications or devices like a printer or scanner. Moreover, configuring a large-scale network facilitates communication among different geographic locations, so a company with multiple branches in the world can keep in communication with its members in a simple and quick. Finally, a network can be used as a home to share files or maximize the available space.
Another deeper review of this definition
The ISO has defined the OSI model (Open System Interconnection), which helped streamline communication between programs on different machines. This free and open model specifies 7 layers of abstraction, ranging from physics to the level of implementation.
There are private and public networks. An Intranet is a private network that uses technology developed for the Internet: TCP / IP is the most important system. These networks are usually limited to the scope of a single entity and provide the typical services that are also found on the Internet: SMTP, POP3, HTTP, FTP, and others like IRC chat.
On the other hand, we have networks are free and others that aren´t. Free networks are generally formed by free software enthusiasts to connect different nodes together in WiFi technology: shared files stored on disk and transmit data at high speeds. For example, a free network can operate at 54 MB / ps, while in 2008 non-free networks, such as Internet, to provide home users 3 MB / ps typically as a standard in Europe is lower even width banda in South America. Free networks are managed in a cooperative and general admission is free. The free software movement, at least from the Free Software Foundation, aims to create a network of free global, parallel to the Internet.
Overall, Internet providers give customers a modem, a username and password. In other cases the connection from the PC to the Internet is output automatically configured by DHCP (Dinamic Host Configuration Protocol), thus the user should not enter any data into the system to connect to the “network of networks” (like we said before on this page) that is frequent cable connections, such as service in Argentina Flash. Such connections use simple ethernet modems that do not require any configuration by the user in both Windows and GNU / Linux or Mac OS X.