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Computer Networks Definition, Types, Topologies & Benefits

A computer network is a connection that is the reason why you can send data remotely. Yes, the connection allows two or more devices to be able to connect and communicate. One type of computer network is a Local Area Network (LAN).

To find out more clearly about what a computer network is, this article will review in full starting from the meaning, benefits, types of devices, to the topology of computer network. Check it out!

Computer Networks Definition

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A computer network is a connection that allows two or more devices to be interconnected both physically and logically that communicate with each other to exchange data or information.

In exchanging data or information, of course, there are parties who receive and those who give. The party receiving the service is called the client ( client ) while the one providing the service is called the server. This design is called a client-server system.

Computer networks are built by combining hardware and software. Two computers, each of which has a network card, are then connected via cable or wireless (wireless) as a data transmission medium, and there is a network operating system software to form a simple network.

Computer networks are also basically divided into several types, including:

1. Local Area Network (LAN)

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2. Personal Area Network (PAN)

3. Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)

4. Campus Area Network (CAN)

5. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

6. Wide Area Network (WAN)

7. Interconnected Network (Internet)

Benefits of Computer Network

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There are several considerations why we should build a computer network. These considerations are also the benefits of a computer network. What are the benefits you get in building a computer network?

1. Resource Sharing

By utilizing a computer network, it will be easier for us to do resource sharing without being limited by distance, Resource sharing itself, including:

  • Data Sharing, With the current computer network, you can easily share data such as documents, pictures, videos, etc, and even share data to faraway countries.
  • Hardware Sharing, If in the past one computer device was only for one printer, by utilizing a computer network today you can use one printer for several computers at once.
  • Internet Access Sharing, With the existence of a computer network, a small network allows several computers to share one internet connection. It is enough to use a computer network device, namely a router, to be able to share the bandwidth allocation.

2. Connectivity and Communication

With a computer network, an individual in a building or workgroup can connect to each other in a LAN network.

When the network is formed and connected to the internet connection, then the connection and communication between users can occur, for example by using email technology.

3. Data security and Management

The network is also useful to make it easier for administrators to manage important company data much better. A data will be safer and easier to find when the data is stored centrally.

And by utilizing the Shared Server, employees can find data a lot easier, Administrators can have that luxury too in finding the backup data.

4. Performance Enhancement and Balancing

A network can be used to improve the performance of several applications by distributing computational tasks on several computers on the network. So it can be easier to do the division of tasks.

5. Entertainment

Networks can be used for entertainment purposes, such as playing online games, searching for information on the internet or just watching videos on the internet.

It can be said that entertainment is included in the benefits of computer networks.

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Computer Network Topology

Network topology is the structure or layout between devices connected to each other in a computer network. There are several types of network topologies, including:

1. Bus Topology

Bus topology is a topology that has a single or central cable to which each workstation and server are connected. The advantage of the bus topology is that when developing a network or adding new workstations it does not interfere with  other workstations.

But the disadvantages of the topology bus are: when the central cable has problems, then the entire network will experience interference.

2. Ring Topology (Ring)

Ring topology is a topology that is formed when all connected devices resemble a ring or circular pattern. Each  workstation   or  server   in this topology will receive and pass information from one device to another. If the intended address matches then the information will be received and if it does not match the information will be passed.

The advantage of the ring topology is that there will be no collusion or data collisions, because only one node can transmit data at a time. But the disadvantages of  ring topology is when one node has a problem, the entire network is disrupted.

3. Star Topology

Star topology is a topology in which each workstation has a line / cable that is connected directly to the server or hub.

The advantage of the star topology is that when one of the workstations is disturbed, not all those on the computer network experience interference, this is because each workstation has its own path.

Because it has its own path, the bandwidth or the width of the communication path in the cable will be wider so that it has an impact on increasing network work.

The disadvantage of the star topology is that it costs more, because the cable requirements are larger than other topologies, causing more costs.

4. Tree Topology

Tree topology is a combination of bus topology and star topology, this topology resembles the anatomy of tree roots so it is called tree topology. You could say that only hub devices are directly connected to the tree bus, and each of these hubs serves as the root of the device tree.

For the advantages and disadvantages of a tree topology, it’s the same as the advantages and disadvantages of a bus and tree topology, but with this hybrid between bus and star it supports the ease of network expansion much better than using a bus topology or star topology alone.

5. Mesh Topology

This mesh topology is often used in conditions where there is no absolute disconnected communication link between nodes in a computer network. So between one device will be connected directly to other devices on the network.

The advantage of the mesh topology is that communication between computers is faster, security is more guaranteed because the communication that occurs is directly received by the intended client.

And when one of the devices has a problem, the Network will not be affected by the interference.

The disadvantage of mesh topology in computer networks is that it costs more because it requires more cables. And the number of cables used, so arranging and tidying the cables is quite difficult and of course also requires extra space.

Please read these too.

Various Computer Network Devices

Network devices are all computers,  peripherals,  interface cards, and additional devices that are connected and connected to a network system to communicate data/information.

There are several common devices that are often used in the application of computer network systems, including:

1. Server

Server is a control device on the network. According to the explanation of the understanding of computer networks above, the server provides services to clients. The server also functions as a medium for storing information and for managing a computer network.

Because it serves the client, the server specification is higher than the client specification to be able to serve all requests. The server must also have a special operating system that is appropriate and supports the services requested by the client.

2. Network Interface Card

NIC or Lan Card expansion board that is used so that the computer can connect to the network. LAN Card consists of various types that can be seen from the speed, Ethernet is divided into four types, namely as follows:

  • 10 Mbit/sec, which is often referred to as Ethernet.
  • 100 Mbit/sec, which is often referred to as Fast Ethernet.
  • 1000 Mbit/s or 1 Gbit/s, which is often referred to as Gigabit Ethernet.
  • 10000 Mbit/s or 10 Gbit/s, commonly called TenGig.

3. Network Cable

Cable is a channel or media that connects one device to another. There are so many types of cables used in computer networks, what are they?

  • Coaxial cable, Coaxial cable is often used for TV cable, ARCnet, thick ethernet and thin ethernet. This type of cable has a transfer speed of up to 500 Mbps, and is able to reach a distance of 500m or more.
  • Fiber Optic Cables, Fiber optic cables are now starting to be widely used because of their faster and larger data transfer capabilities, as well as longer cable coverage. Fiber Optic cable has two types, namely single mode type and multi mode type.
  • Twisted Pair, Twisted pair cable commonly used in LAN networks, is divided into 2 types, Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) and Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP). The data transfer speed in the use of this cable is up to 10Mbps, and the connectors commonly used are RJ-11 or RJ-45.

4. Hub dan Switch

Switch is a computer network device that also serves to connect multiple or multiple computers. The switch is physically similar to the hub but logically the same as the brigade line. Switches have 2 types, namely:

  • Unmanaged Switch, This switch is the cheapest type and is usually used in homes, offices or small and home businesses. The basic function of this switch is to manage data traffic between one peripheral and another.
  • Managed Switch, This switch is more expensive than the usual switch, the advantage of this switch is that there is software that allows users to configure the switch, segment the network with the concept of VLAN, etc.

5. Bridge

Bridge is a device that functions to forward traffic between network segments based on information at the data link layer. Bridges can also divide a large network into several smaller networks.

6. Router

Router is a device that serves to connect a LAN network to a WAN network and manage data traffic in it. Routers can also determine the best path for data communication, this device has a routing table to record all addresses that are on the known network and the possible paths and travel times.

7. Repeater

A repeater is a device that serves to regenerate or amplify incoming signals. The repeater will try to maintain the integrity of the network signal and prevent any degradation until the data packets reach their destination.

The weakness of the repeater is that it cannot filter  traffic on the network, so that all incoming data will be spread over the LAN segments without calculating whether the data is needed or not.

8. Modem

Modem is a device that functions and is used as a liaison from a computer device to the Internet Service Provider (ISP) network.

Well, that’s information about computer networks and the things around them that you shouldn’t miss. So, now you understand how you can exchange information on the internet? Hope this article was useful!

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