A network can be any connected devices. It can be as small as two computers or as complex as a multisite network such as a telecommunications infrastructure that contains 100s if not 1000s of computers that are connected together.
The common uses of a network are:
- Communication – video conferencing, email, chats, learning, etc…
- Sharing Hardware – printers, scanners, storage…
- Sharing data – files.
- Sharing applications – Microsoft word, spread sheet, specialised software, etc.
- Data Backup and retrieval
1.1 Types of Networks
1.1.1 LANs and WANs
They types of network used are dictated by the number of locations they span.
LANs – Local Area Networks are restricted to a single location (building, office, school).
WANs – Wide Area Networks spread over multiple geographic locations. They are slower than LANs and more expensive and they tend to use different technologies to connect LANs together to create an internetwork.