It will not be an exaggeration to say that information is one of the most important issues for any business. Dissemination of the data to the concerned people is equally vital. Computer networking came into being to make the communication between the computers faster and easier. It not only provides faster communication, but also enabled the users to access remote programs and remote databases of the same enterprise or other organizations.
Apart from this, there are other reasons also to employ computer networking. Through computer networking, cost could be reduced by sharing hardware and software resources and by downsizing to microcomputer-based networks instead of using mainframes. Gathering information from multiple resources has become easier, which ensures the reliability of the data.
As per definition, computer networking is nothing but the process of connecting multiple computers for the communication purpose so that information as well as resources could be shared by all connected devices.
Categorization of computer networks could be done based on vast range of characteristics like medium used for communication, scale, networking topology used, communication protocol, etc.
Mediums used by computer networks
For communication between two devices, a medium is must. There are several mediums, such as electrical cable, optical fiber and radio waves which are used for networking. Electrical and optical fiber are used in wired technology while radio waves are employed in wireless technology.
In the wired technology, twisted pair cable is the most commonly used medium for communication. Twisted pair wire is made of metal wire that are twisted into pairs. Computer networking wire contains 4 pairs of metal wires, which are used for data as well as voice transmission. The purpose of using twisted wires is to minimize noise which is caused by electromagnetic induction and crosstalk. There are two pairs of twisted wires, namely Unshielded Twisted Pair and Shielded Twisted Pair. The speed range of twisted pair cable is 2 million bits per second to 10 billion bits per second.
Another widely used medium in wired technology is coaxial cable. It is mostly used for local area networks, cable television systems, etc. It is made of metal wire, covered with insulating layer of a flexible material with a high dielectric constant, all of which are wrapped by a conductive layer. The purpose of using insulating layer is to minimize noise and signal distortion.
Optical fiber is the another communication medium, invented in the second half of twentieth century. Its components are filaments of glass fiber covered in protective layers that transmits data by means of pulses of light. It carries light signals over long distances. Electromagnetic interferences cannot affect the signals carried by it. Its maximum transmission speed could touch trillions of bits per second.
For all types of cable malfunctioning, network support is provided by many service providers.
There are several widely used wireless technologies, such as Wireless LAN Technology, Communication Satellite Technology, Infrared Communication Technology, Terrestrial Microwave Technology, etc.
Wireless LAN Technology employs hi frequency technology, which is akin to digital cellular and low frequency radio technology. This spread spectrum technology connects multiple devices in a limited area. Wireless LAN in an office or home could be easily set up with the help of numerous PC support providers.
Communication satellites utilizes microwave radio signals as communication medium because microwave radio signals are least affected by earth’s atmosphere. Data, voice and TV signals are transmitted and received using microwave radio technology.
Infrared Communication Technology is used to transmit signals between devices within short distance. The maximum distance covered by this technology is typically 10 meters.
Terrestrial Microwave Technology employs low gigahertz signal range, that restricts transmissions to line of sight. The maximum distance between microwave signal relay stations is 48km.
Wireless computer network is the backbone of business and technological processes, which could be immensely damaged if the networking system breaks down. In that eventuality, online PC support should be used to set the networking system right.