Type Of Network

Network is a very huge topic but I hope what is presented on this website will give you an idea what it is all about.

What are the types of Networks available?

Network can be as small as two PC communicating with each other to networks that interconnect between offices in many cities or countries:

1. LAN   —   More popular among the home or small offices as the network is small and contained within the same office or building. Very suitable for SOHO ( small-office/home-office ) kind of businesses.

2. Wide Area Network   —   This network combines LANs from different locations around the countries and can be connected by high-speed medium such as fiber-optic, leased line or even satellite transmission.

3. Internet ( World Wide Web )   —  It is the mother of all network. The amount of LAN, WAN and individual connection of network users using Dial-Up modem using TCP/IP protocol makes this network the largest in the world. The main communications between users are carried out using software such as a Web Browser, File Transfer Protocol ( FTP ) clients and emailing programs. It is estimated that there is almost 2.5 billions computer systems connected to this network.

4. Intranet   —   These are private LAN or network that only the company personnel can use. They can also be connected to their other branches around the island but the content or information use is restricted to the authorized users of the company only.

5. Extranet   —   These are private LAN or network that a company shares with their business partners, customers or suppliers. The content or information use is also restricted to the authorized users that the company has assigned to.

There are 2 distinct kind of network :

A. Peer-to-peer or Workgroup

Peer -to-peer is the actual name for a network in which all users share the same resources, however, Windows identify it as Workgroup. Peer-to-peer and Workgroup are the same thing.

In a workgroup network, all computers share their resources files, folders, drives, printers and others. Each individual PC has their own local applications or programs that they can utilized.

A Workgroup can consists of two to ten computers and if more is added, the performance of the network will be compromised. As for security issue, it is more easily compromised when compared with those running in a business environment. Also, files need to be backup individually for each PC.

B. Client/Server Network

A client/server network is different from Workgroup because only one computer ( Server ) shares its resources with all the computers ( clients or workstation ) that are communicating with it.

The Server controls all files, folders, printers that will be use by the client station. The client station will send a request for a service to the server and only upon approval can they access a resource. All client station is connected to a hub which can allows up to 150 clients on the network. Similarly, more stations can slow down the network as such some uses multiple servers to regulate the traffic.

Each server can handle a different part of the services require by the network so that it smoothen out the heavy load that is required on the back-end and thus the efficiency improves. E.g. You can have a server to act as a File and Print Server or a server as a Web Server or database server etc.

Deciding which network to use

Only you can decide what network you want. With good planning you will be able to decide on a network that suits your requirement and also at a price that you intend to invest on.

< Basic Network Components >

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