In information technology, a network is a series of places called nodes that are interconnected by some kind of communication. Networks can interconnect with other networks and contain subnetworks.
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If we speak about networks in a matter of distance between nodes, networks can be local area networks or LANs, metropolitan area networks or MANs, and wide area networks or WANs. Most common topologies of networks are bus, star, token ring, and mesh topologies. The type of data transmission technology in use on selected network can also characterize a given network. We will speak mostly about TCP/IP and Ethernet technology.
Network will in different situations carry different kinds of data that includes voice, data, or both kinds of signals in the same time. Network can be characterized also by who can use the network (public or private). In some of the writing we will also be talking about the usual nature of network connections like dial-up or switched, dedicated or non-switched, or virtual network connections. The hardware part of the story is looking at the types of physical links that can be for example, optical fiber, coaxial cable, and Unshielded Twisted Pair. Large telephone networks and networks using their infrastructure (like Internet) have sharing and exchange arrangements with other companies so that larger networks are created.
A computer network
Computer network in these days is often simply referred as Internet. But that is not the real truth. Computer network is a collection of hardware parts and computers at the end that are interconnected by communication channels. With use of these channels, computers can share resources and information. If at least one device is able to send data and another device can receive this same data, then the two devices are connected in a small network.
Networks may be classified according to different things such as the medium used to make the channel, communications protocol used to send and receive etc.
Communications protocols are the rules that are saying to data what are the next steps in the communication process and in which formats must the data be presented to be able to go across the wire. To make the exchanging of information possible, we need to have. Well-known communications protocols are Ethernet, a hardware and Link Layer standard that is universal in local area networks, and the Internet Protocol Suite, which defines a set of protocols for internetworking. Internetworking is a term that can be used when we need to speak about data communication between multiple networks, as well as host-to-host data transfer, and application-specific data transmission formats.