Computer networking is related to communication between a group of two or more computers which are linked together. There are three types of networks which are commonly used:

  1. Local Area Network(LAN)
  2. Metropolitan Area Network(MAN)
  3. Wide Area Network(WAN)

Local Area Network

A LAN connects network devices over a short distance. A LAN network might be within a building or an area of less than 1 km. LANs are typically used for single sites where people need to share resources among themselves but not with the rest of the outside world.

Take an example of office building where everybody should be able to access files on a central server or want to print a document to one printer. Those tasks should be easy for everybody working in the same office.

If a local area network, or LAN, is entirely wireless, it is referred to as a wireless local area network, or WLAN.

Metropolitan Area Network

A metropolitan area network, or MAN, consists of a computer network across an entire city, college campus or small region. A MAN is larger than a LAN. A MAN is often used to connect several LANs together to form a bigger network. Cable TV network is an example of metropolitan area network.

Wide Area Network

A wide area network occupies a very large area, such as an entire country or the entire world. Generally these networks are owned by Telecom Authorities. A WAN can contain multiple smaller networks, such as LANs or MANs. The Internet is the best-known example of a public WAN.

Network Topology

A network topology is the arrangement of network elements, including its nodes and connecting lines. It describes how a network is connected physically or logically. Types of Network topology are:

  1. Bus Topology: Bus Topology is the simplest form of network topologies. In bus topology each computer and network device are connected to a single cable.
  2. Ring Topology: It is called ring topology because it forms a ring as each computer is connected to another computer, with the last one connected to the first. Exactly two neighbours for each device. All messages travel through a ring in the same direction (either "clockwise" or "anticlockwise"). A failure in any cable or device breaks the loop and can take down the entire network.
  3. Star Topology: In this type of topology all the computers are connected to a single hub through a cable. This hub is the central node and all others nodes are connected to the central node.
  4. Tree Topology: A tree topology joins multiple star topologies together onto a bus. In its simplest form. It has a root node and all other nodes are connected to it forming a hierarchy. It is also called hierarchical topology. It should at least have three levels to the hierarchy.
  5. Mesh Topology: In mesh topology all the network nodes are connected to each other. Unlike each of the previous topologies, messages sent on a mesh network can take any of several possible paths from source to destination.

Client Server Networking

It is a network application architecture which separates the client form the server. It is a scalable architecture, where each computer or process on the network in either a client or a server.

Peer-to-Peer Networking

It is also known as P2P networking. In this computer network relies on computing power at the edges of a connection rather than in the network itself. It is used for sharing content like audio, video or any other digital data. Bluetooth connection is an example of Peer-to-Peer Networking

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