Aug 012012

Computer Networks

These days computers are almost always connected to a computer network. Whether the network is a local network eg. office or a home network or a global network eg. internet, the usefulness of a computer connected to a network is much higher than when it is not. This is mainly because access to other computers allows us to communicate, work and entertain ourselves in ways a standalone computer couldn’t.

At home and office there are two main types of computer network connections in common use these days. There are connections made with the help of cables and connections made without cables.

Wired Networks

Wired Networks as the name suggests, involve the use of cables to connect computers together. The most popular wired network is known as Ethernet. The connections are usually made with network cables, which are also referred to as Ethernet, CAT5e or CAT6 cables. The socket into which these cables plug into is usually referred to as a LAN port or a RJ45 socket. These can be found on the back of computers , desktops and laptops alike. They are also found on networking devices such as switches and routers which are used as connecting devices for all the computers that wish to communicate over the network.

Wireless Networks

If one wishes to avoid unnecessary cables, then wireless networking is the solution. The most popular Wireless Network at home or office is known as Wi-Fi. There are plenty of routers that can provide a Wi-Fi network. Almost all laptops come with an internal wireless adapter that can connect to this network, provided that the correct password or PIN is entered at the time of connection. Desktops can also be connected in this way, but they usually require installation of a Wireless Adapter. Modern mobile phones known as Smartphones and portable computer devices known as tablets can also connect to Wi-Fi networks.