Why Do We Need Network ?

When you need to connect two or more computers together, you need to create a computer network. But why would you want to connect computers together ?  Maybe you want to transfer files from one computer to another or share a common peripheral such as a printer to minimize cost. Perhaps you want all your computers to be able to surf  the web using the same Internet connection.

How does a Network Works ?

There are two ways of linking your computers to a network :

1. Using hard wire ( wired )

2. Using Wireless peripherals

Wired network provide faster transmission rate as compared to wireless but using wireless eliminates plenty of wires on your network setup.

If your network is small and you merely want to share Internet connection or share a printer and the files transfer requirement is at its minimal, then a Wireless Network is justifiable. However, if you are constantly sending huge files from one PC system to another or you are playing LAN games such as multiplayer gaming then it is better to stick to Wired Network as speed is an important factor for consideration.

Wired Networks

A wired network requires you to run a cable from one PC to the next and each PC must have a network interface card (NIC) so that it will be connected by these Ethernet cable ( RJ45 ). (However, please note that many new PCs today has a built-in Ethernet ( LAN ) port at the rear of the motherboard therefore you do not need to purchase an additional Network card.)

This mode of network setup is easy and cheap except for the inconveniences of laying the network cables around the house or offices. Majority of these network transfer data at 10Mbps or 100Mbps, depending on the type of equipment being used. A network peripheral that can work in either 10Mbps or 100Mbps is usually known as a 10/100 equipment. E.g. A 10/100 Ethernet Switch

Note : Mbps refers to the speed of data transfer across the network and it is measured as Megabits Per Second ( Mbps ). The higher the figure means the faster it can transfer your data.

Wireless Networks

Another way to connect your PC to the network is through a wireless network. Wireless network uses radio frequency (RF) signals to connect one computer to another. The advantage of wireless is that you don’t have to run any cables between devices. This is a better option if you have a large house with computers on different floors or corner of the room.

The most popular wireless networks uses the Wi-Fi standard. The original Wi-Fi standard, known as 802.11b, transfer data at 11Mbps which is slower than the Fast Ethernet ( 100 Mbps ) but it is still fast enough for normal user. The newer standard, 802.11g, transfer data at 54Mbps which is more than enough for your home networking needs.

Almost all storage or output device can be shared over a network, but the most commonly used devices are :

1. Printers

2. Disk drives

3. Optical drives

4. Fax machines

5. Tape backup units

6. Scanners

Some of the benefits of setting up a Network :

a. Entire hard disk drives or just selected folders can be shared with other users via the network.

b. Multiple users can access to shared software or data files

c. Internal Electronic mail (email) can be created for sending and receiving indoor.

d. Multiple users can contribute to a single document using collaboration features.

e. Diagnostic of system encountering problems or teaching a new users some new task can be done Remotely by the Administrator.

f. A single Internet connection can be shared among multiple computers. — Save Cost !



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